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Human Services budget rejected
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The Lafayette County Human Services Committee meeting was called to order by chair Leon Wolfe Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6:00 p.m.
    Nicola Mauer, Lafayette County Finance Director made a brief appearance. Mauer and Margaret Sutter, newly hired Human Services Financial Manager presented a budget that admittedly had some inconsistencies. Mauer said that between her lack of knowledge of Human Service revenue process and Sutter being thrown into the process on her first day, some revenue figures do not appear to be correct.
    The budget includes a two and a half percent increase for all employees of Human Service (this needs to be approved by the finance committee and by the County Board). The increase would add approximately $41,000 to the budget. Mauer said that traditionally a blanket pay raise for a department has not been done in the past, a raise that has been suggested would typically be done for the entire county. Tony Ruesga, Lafayette County Board and Human Resource committee member said, “This has to stop. We are dealing with Human Service here and other committees are dealing with their departments. They are different jobs.”
    When asked why he presented a two and a half percent wage increase Shane Schuhmacher, Human Services department head said, “We’ve just been through a cycle of having to replace staff. We are fully staffed right now and I’d like to see a little bit of a morale boost and some of the wages get pushed towards market value, and that will hopefully maintain a set staff here for a while. I’m pushing it.”
    The numbers on the budget showed an increase in payroll and fringes of $337,559. Total expenditures were up by $301,689 and the revenue was only up by $122,880. Leaving the levy (the amount which is funded by the county) figure at $1,926,722 – up by $178,808.
    Gerald Hiemann, Lafayette County Board and Human Resource committee member questioned the levy from Family Services went down $33,794 and never got an answer.
    Connie Hull, Human Services committee member said, “I feel like we’re being rushed on this budget. I think we need to be able to look at all the numbers and the correct numbers.” Ruesga added, “How can we approve something, when we don’t know how accurate it is. This is not somebody’s checkbook, this is a big time account and I’m not prepared to approve it.” Hull said, “You can’t go into finance with a budget like this,” Ruesga continued, “Nicola needs to be available to help us go through this, that’s her job.” The committee decided not to approve the budget. Wolfe said it’s obvious that we need to schedule another meeting to go through this budget with clean numbers. The committee agreed and scheduled a meeting to finish the budget – Monday, Sept. 26.
    A Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) provider position was approved by the committee.
    Comprehensive Community Service programs provide and arrange for the provision of psychosocial rehabilitation services. Psychosocial rehabilitation services are services and supportive activities that assist members with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions to achieve their highest possible level of independent functioning, stability and independence and to facilitate recovery. All services must be non-institutional and fall within the definition of rehabilitative services. People have to be on medical assistance and be reimbursed for it.
    Schuhmacher stated that the CCS position is nearly 100% reimbursable by the state. Almost everything in this position is going to pay for itself and people really need it. The pay grade is $66,000 to $77,000 per year. This will need to go through Human Resources.
    Green County is the fiscal lead for the CCS of Green and Lafayette. The program is at capacity according to Schuhmacher and a provider is coming from Green County. Connie Hull, committee member asked why don’t you let Green County hire the position, then it won’t show up on our levy. Schuhmacher answered the benefit of having it here, is that we would have more staff to handle opiate issues in Lafayette County. A motion was made and seconded and approved.
    Affordable Care Act (ACA) was discussed. The single position was approved by Human Resources to go full time.
    Margaret Sutter, Human Services Financial Manager and Melisa Hill, Family Services Manager, both new to Human Services were introduced at the meeting.
    Vouchers for August were approved. Lafayette County Aging - $3,515 and Lafayette County Human Services - $101,445.
    Approved an adjustment for Mental Health Coordinator will be moved to 100% of pay grade. This adjustment was budgeted and the per hour rate is $23.74.
    Schuhmacher brought up the possibility of purchasing a Caravan to replace a 16 seat van that the county owns and Human Services uses once a week. Approval to suggest that the Building and Insurance committee buy the van with the 16 seat van traded in.
    ADRC Scope of service final draft contract was discussed. The separate entrance issue was discussed. The committee directed and approved Schuhmacher to sign the contract and to include a waiver recognizing the appropriate accommodations in regards to the entrance.
    Overtime for Aug. is 40.5 hours.
    Interviewing Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Program candidates to fill a vacancy in that department with twenty to thirty candidates. Schuhmacher will interview around twelve.