Monday, August 6, 2012

Carroll County officials will be tackling state mandated regionalization of mental-health services during the next several months.

Carroll County built up nearly $3 million of mental health services reserves, and now the county may be forced to pool that money.

Board of Supervisors chairman Mark Beardmore said he believes the county should attempt to stand as its own region.

“I have asked throughout this whole process, for a year-and-a-half, I have asked for somebody to show me where the efficiencies or the savings (are).” Beardmore said. “You know me. I’m tighter than bark on a tree. I’m for cutting everything, if you just show me how this thing is going to save the taxpayers some money without shorting the consumers in need.”

He said no one has been able to provide him an explanation on how the regionalization will help consumers in Carroll County.

“It’s because it’s not there,” Beardmore said. “This thing is becoming more clear to me by the day that this was a power play by the DHS (Department of Human Services) to save their hides. I believe it will implode.”

He said he thinks the state is going to find out there are people falling through the cracks and that people are going to be calling their legislators because of waiting lists or poor service options.

Beardmore said the county is at a point where it needs to make a decision.

He said part of the reason the county needs to act now is because the state is still in the process of making rules for the legislation.

Beardmore said he has been trying to be a part of the rules making process, however he’s been fairly unsuccessful so far.

He wanted to attend the last rules committee meeting but couldn’t because he wasn’t aware of the last meeting until the day before. Instead of attending that meeting he sent an email to the Pottawattamie County CPC, a member of the rules committee.

Beardmore said his email was a letter asking for the state not to set the bar to opt out of regionalization too high. He said he doesn’t believe the bar to opt out will be unrealistically high.

“There is a sentence in there saying counties shall have the option to opt out,”