By Dave Baker,
Dubuque County Supervisor
(Originally published in the Dubuque Leader March 3, 2017)
This year marks the 100th anniversary of our Sunnycrest Manor facility. Dubuque County has for years invested in the health of our senior citizens, intellectually disabled citizens, and disabled veterans. Our employees provide compassionate care for our residents. Sunnycrest Manor has routinely been rated among the best nursing homes in the state.
A family atmosphere truly exists at Sunnycrest Manor. Our employees know each resident personally and they continuously interact with the residents. I believe that Dubuque County citizens are proud of the care that our employees have provided to our residents for many years – and that a vast majority of our citizens support the subsidy that we provide through our tax dollars.
The “subsidy” has averaged approximately $2.8 million per year for the past decade or more. There exists a small (but vocal) faction of the people who want to either close the facility or privatize the operations of the facility, resulting in our dedicated, long-term employees losing their jobs. Just the talk of privatization creates anxiety among our employees and residents, and raises concerns from the family members who have loved one residing at
As I have said, there is definitely a family atmosphere at Sunnycrest Manor and I believe that we need to continue monitoring the operations at Sunnycrest Manor through the Sunnycrest Manor Board of Trustees, whose members are elected officials, the Sunnycrest Manor Board of Directors, (an advisory board made up of the citizen volunteers) and utilizing the expertise of our Administrator,Cris Kirsch.
In closing, it should be no surprise to anyone that I am standing strong in support of our residents, employees, and the family members of our residents. I have been contacted by numerous family members of residents, and Dubuque County residents who are not in favor of privatizing Sunnycrest Manor. I ran in three elections, and I did not hide my positions regarding my support for Sunnycrest Manor. As always, I am interested in hearing your views on Sunnycrest Manor and any other Dubuque County issues.