Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maintenance Department and Public Health & Human Services Tours

Maintenance Department
Today I met with Brian Silence, Head of the Maintenance Department.  Brian gave me an overview of the Maintenance Department's responsibilities which includes 16 buildings (including Highway Department facilities, the Community Center, Historical Society, tower buildings and Courthouse), 4 cemeteries, the truck and car fleet, and boat landings.  We toured the mechanical rooms where I was able to see some of the building's air handling, electrical, water heater and boiler systems.  We also had a general discussion about overall workspace in the courthouse and budget.  It was interesting to see "behind the scenes" of the Courthouse and tour areas not typically seen.

Public Health and Human Services (PHHS)
Yesterday, I met with Sue Futterer, Director of Public Health & Human Services (PHHS).  This Department is complex, far-reaching, and likely touches the lives of most Cook County residents in one way or another.

In general, the County is responsible for delivering mandated human services on behalf of the State.  Sue gave me an overview of Cook County's services by introducing me to the Staff and letting me ask questions about their work.  Click here for some interesting facts about Minnesota's Human Services System.  

Because I am the County Board liaison to PHHS, Sue and I will be meeting on at least a monthly basis.  Jan Parish (PHHS Finance), Sue Futterer and I have scheduled a 2nd meeting for Jan to begin to explain the PHHS funding sources, expenses and overall budget to me.