In a McHenry County Board meeting that could charitable be described as chaotic, Board members forced Chairman Jack Franks to back down from his effort to obtain Requests for Qualifications from potential Valley Hi Nursing Home leasing agents.
With the RFQs due Wednesday afternoon, the Board considered a resolution drafted by Craig Wilcox, the Board’s liaison to the Valley Hi Operating Board.
It would have set up a committee to evaluate the submissions.
Out of the box, Donna Kurtz moved to amend the resolution to rescind the RFQ and refer a discussion of the future of Valley Hi to the Public Health and Community Service Committee, chaired by Chuck Wheeler.
What followed were impassioned arguments to leave Valley Hi as it is.
Mary McCann sought an amendment that would mandate the Public Health Committee to perform or contract for “an administrative assessment…to tell us where we are in the scheme of things.”
[Whether the 2016 WIPFLI consultant’s market analysis report supplied what she desired is unclear. One can find articles on that report below:
McCann’s effort eventually died.
Mike Skala entered the debate by suggesting, as stated by Franks, that the Public Health Committee be allowed to evaluate the FRQs.
Kurtz accepted Skala’s suggestion as a friendly amendment, but, after it passed by a voice vote of something to three, members seemed to have no idea what they had just passed.
Franks stated that the staff would still evaluated the RFQ.
“Mr. Franks, that was not my intent of what I said,” Skala stated.
“If the committee as a committee decides to let the staff do with what they want to do,” he continued.
Veteran member John Hammerand entered the discussion for the first time saying, “I’ve listened for an hour and I’m not sure what we voted upon.”
Jim Kearns moved to re-consider the vote, which was seconded by Jeff Thorsen.
At that point one of the Edgar County Watchdogs shouted, “Who voted “mo?”
“Sit down,” Franks shouted.
“We are not going to turn this into a circus.”
“It already is” the same audience member replied loudly.
At that point a recess was called so that Kurtz and Skala could agree on the wording of the amendment to Wilcox’ resolution.
The amendment passed.
Wilcox then made a motion to rescind the Request for Qualifications.
It passed 14-8, although the electronic tote board continued to malfunction because Mike Walkup’s vote was not recorded.
Wilcox now Kurtz-Skala-Wilcox amended resolution then passed 22-0.
So, what began as an effort by Jack Franks to perhaps privatize Valley Hi in a move about which no one on the County Board was consulted, ended with the RFQ killed and the issue of what, if anything to do with Valley Hi, given to the Public Health and Community Service Committee for consideration.