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EAST MOLINE -- Hope Creek Care Center Executive Director Cassie Baker has resigned. 

Baker notified Rock Island County Administrator Jim Snider by letter on Tuesday, telling him her last day will be Feb. 15.

In her letter, Baker said she will take a "hands-on role" in the transition and training of her replacement.

"My decision to resign was finalized after long and careful consideration of all factors," Baker wrote. "I regret leaving the relationships that I have built here along with an amazing, overall hardworking staff. 

"However, I feel the change will be beneficial to my long-term career goals and objectives."

Baker could not be reached for comment. 

Snider notified county board members of the resignation by email on Tuesday. 

Snider said Baker was leaving to pursue another opportunity, but Baker's letter does not specify the reason. 

"You always want to do the best for your employees," Snider said. "(Baker) has another opportunity she wants to move forward with.  I respect any employee that desires to move forward in their career.

"Obviously we have challenges with the home, and Cassie has been diligent in her responsibilities on focusing on the care of the residents. I've appreciated her efforts."

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Baker's resignation comes on the heels of the resignations by Hope Creek Advisory Board President Jessey Hullon Jan. 15 and advisory board member Carol Near on Jan. 16.

Hullon said he did not know why Baker resigned. 

"I think it's going to be a loss for Hope Creek," Hullon said. "(Baker) was the administrator; they are going to have to find a new administrator. In lieu of the climate we have there, it will be a challenging task. I'm sure Mr. Snider is up to it. My concern is for the outstanding employees and the residents who count on these folks." 

Hullon said he had a good working relationship with Baker, who kept him better informed than county board members did.

"This will be another issue for the elected officials to put Hope Creek as a top priority," Hullon said. "Beyond finances, now they've lost their leader."

The county-owned nursing home, 4343 Kennedy Drive, is currently $4.6 million in debt according to recent reports from auditor April Palmer and treasurer Louisa Ewert. 

County board members approved a three-month cost benefit analysis of Hope Creek at the Jan. 15 meeting, to be conducted by Management Performance Associates (MPA) of St. Louis at a cost of $29,000.

The overview will begin at the end of February and conclude at the end of May.  

County board member Cecelia O'Brien said she was sorry to hear about Baker's resignation. 

"She was a breath of fresh air," O'Brien said. "I'm very concerned about that nursing home. I hope they can find a good replacement for Cassie. It's a very good nursing home."

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