Yvonne Barnes Gets Special Finance Committee Meeting on Valley Hi Finances

At the beginning of Thursday’s McHenry County Finance and Audit Committee McHenry County Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup called for the abolition of the property tax levied for the Valley Hi Nursing Home.

Mike Walkup addressing the Finance Committee.

Mike Walkup addressing the Finance Committee.

He pointed out that the nursing home usually breaks even, but its bank account has $41.7 million.

Next there was a long meeting.

At the end members get a chance to make comments.

Mary McCann, who chairs the Public Health and Human Resources Committee, said she had read allegations that veterans were been turned out of Valley Hi, a falsehood.

She said that Valley Hi Administrator Tom Annarella had reported that this year his operation would be in the red, but next year “we’ll be in the black.”

Chuck Wheeler asked for past memos on privatizing the nursing home, emphasizing that he was not talking about shutting it down.

Yvonne Barnes was up next.

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

She asked for a presentation before the committee on the Valley Hi levy.

She said she wanted to learn “the consequences of our actions.”

Barnes referred specifically to the use of Valley Hi funds for “other things.”

There has been talk of surplus borrowing money from the fund to finance capital projects, rather than issuing bonds.

“The Valley Hi levy is a topic of conversation right now,” she said.

Barnes wanted to get “truth” out in the public, rather than “people making up their own stories.”

“Michael Walkup made his comments today.

“It’s a very important topic to all of us.

“We need to know the facts and get the information out to the public,” she concluded.

Chairman Mike Skala seemed to agree that such a meeting would be worthwhile.

Reflecting on Walkup’s statement, McCann observed,

“I would say he doesn’t understand it.”

Barnes’ rejoinder was,

“I think he does and he knows what he is talking about.”

Barnes pointed out that Walkup was not talking about giving the surplus back to taxpayers, but “just not taking [more] from the taxpayers.”

She said the discussion she was hearing was “full of loud people just stating inaccuracies.  We need to be proactive in stopping that.”

McCann said she thought “a lot of this loud talk comes down to loud talk about not trusting elected officials and they themselves are elected officials.

“How do we [develop] trust?” she asked.

Barnes pointed out that if the County Board is collecting money for Valley Hi and then using it for something else, “that is misleading to the public.”

A person just told her, “I just heard you just stopped giving services to all the Veterans in the county.”

“It’s not true,” McCann said, referring to a letter to the editor.


Yvonne Barnes Gets Special Finance Committee Meeting on Valley Hi Finances — 6 Comments

  1. Want public trust?

    Answer public questions publicly:

    1. What financial institution(s) is(are) holding the Valley Hi Enterprise Fund, now $42 million?

    2. In what types of accounts are the funds held, and are the funds insured against loss (above $250,000 FDIC limits)?

    3. Which, if any current or former County Board Members, Administrators, or Valley Hi Op Board Members do business with that financial institution or institutions? Who determined which financial institution should host these funds and how was the final determination executed (did funds need to be moved? If so, were there comparable interest rates and fee structures at prior institution)?

    4. By what authority under the law can the Board levy more than 12 months of operating expenditures on an enterprise with years history of operating in the black?

    5. What does the Model prepared by County Admin project for the next decade? Does the model predict a net annual loss of more than $7 million at that point?

    If so, what is the County plan to fund VH when the statutory limit for such taxation is 0.10% and the County (taxable) EAV remains below $7 billion?

  2. Why is this amount of money earning
    Such a low pitiful amount of interest
    Because it was farmed out to ONLY
    Banks in Mchenry county ?

  3. TY Susan. I too am interested in the answers to your questions but not convinced that it will boost public trust…

  4. McCann is doing a fine job and we are lucky to have her as our representative.

    However, barnes, wheeler and last but not least walkup can do us all a favor and resign.


  5. ..then there must be two McCanns!

    A “fine job”?

    Ha, maybe for herself.

    District 6, please vote us better representation.

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