Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Human Services and Cook County Board Meetings for November 20, 2012

Cook County Human Services Board
Human Services Board Chair Sue Hakes called the meeting to order.  Also present were Board members Carla LaPointe, Jerry Lilja, Jan Hall and Bruce Martinson.  Fritz Sobanja joined the meeting at 9:00 am.  Jim Johnson was absent.  Also present were Sue Futterer, PHHS Director, and Janet Simonen, Personnel Director/Board Secretary.

Committee Reports
Board Members reported on the various committees upon which they serve.  If you are interested in learning more about any of these Committees, please contact me or the County Representatives noted below:

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency - Sue Hakes
Arrowhead Health Alliance - Sue Hakes
Arrowhead Regional Corrections - Jan Hall or Fritz Sobanja
Community Health Board - Jan Hall
Public Health & Human Services Advisory Board - Carla LaPointe or Jerry Lilja
Health Care Planning Committee - Jim Johnson or Bruce Martinson
North Shore Collaborative - Sue Hakes

Presentation:  Persons with Development Disabilities, Linda Waterhouse
Social Worker Linda Waterhouse gave the Board an excellent overview of her work as a Social Worker for adults and children with development disabilities.  This includes adults and children with developmental disabilities, Adult Mental Health with diagnosis major depression, and Children's Mental Health with diagnosis severe emotional disability.  Waterhouse serves clients in Cook County, as well as clients in Ramsey, Hennepin, and Becker counties with a goal to see out of county clients at least every 3 months.  

Currently Waterhouse serves 24 clients with needs varying from in-home support and respite care to living in a Care Center and out-of-home placement.  Fortunately, funding in this area allows a fair amount of discretion on the part of Cook County, which enables Waterhouse to better meet the specific needs of her diverse clientel.

Linda said she "loves doing this job" and has been doing it since 2001.  Thanks, Linda!

Director's Report
PHHS Director Sue Futterer and Income Maintenance Supervisor Jan Parish gave the monthly budget review with nothing extraordinary to report.

Futterer also gave an update on the Region 3 Redesign work being done in the area of Child Support.  At the last meeting, the directors were given a demo of Vidyo (like high-quality Skype) and of document management being done in Carver and Anoka Counties.

Futterer also reviewed the "Steering Committee on Performance and Outcome Reforms" Final Report to be delivered to Governor Dayton and the Legislature on January 15, 2013.  This work has been in progress since 2009 with the mandate to establish and review performance and outcomes standards for all essential human services based on the current level of resources available, and to develop appropriate reporting measures and a uniform accountability process for responding to a county's or services delivery authority's failure to make adequate progress on achieving performance measures.  

Futterer and Parish explained the evolving hiring needs for PHHS due to recent resignations of staff.  The Board approved hiring Sheila Wieben as an Eligibility Worker/Account Tech; they also supported moving Sandy Petty to a Lead Financial Worker position.

The Board approved the re-appointment of Frances Jarchow, Diane Pearson, and Patty Nordahl to the PHHS Advisory Committee for 3 year terms expiring on 12/30/2015.

County Board Meeting
Board Chair Janice Hall called the meeting to order.  Also present were Commissioners Hakes, Martinson and Sobanja, County Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.   Commissioner Johnson was absent.  

Communication Tower 
Danna MacKenzie came before the Board to with a request for the Board to sign contracts with Grand Portage and New Cingular Wireless for the leasing of land and the tower as requested by Grand Portage Tribal Council.  The Board approved this request.

MacKenzie also came before the Board with a request to authorize proceeding with negotiations with Buell Consulting/Verizon for the construction of a new communications tower at 333 Old Ski Hill Road.  Also present for this discussion was Mike Hatlestad, WDIO engineer.  WDIO owns the existing tower in this location, which has become obsolete and needs replacement. MacKenzie and Hatlestad will work together on details for transferring equipment, demolishing the existing tower and working with Verizon and report back to the County Board.

Superior National Golf Course
The Board approved a $225,000 operating loan for Superior National Golf Course for one year at 1% interest per the County Interagency Loan Policy.

The Board made a motion for Braidy Powers to work with bond counsel attorney Bob Toftey and Superior National Golf Course Manager Bob Fenwick to draft an agreement for the use of 1% sales tax to fund improvements at Superior National Golf Course.  The Board required that this agreement make funding subject to written commitment of $600,000 IRRB funding, and appropriate administrative language outlining the authorization process for funding the project.

Violence Prevention Funding Request
The County Board authorized a letter drafted by Commissioner Hakes from the County Board to Senator Tom Bakk and Representative David Dill asking them to continue funding so critically needed in Cook County for the Violence Prevention Center, Cook County Crime Victims Services and the Domestic Violence Advocate in Grand Portage.  

Hovland Playground
The County Board authorized up to $25,000 for a playground to be built in Hovland.  This will be funded by  Recreational Funding from the sale of tax forfeit land.

Cook County Family YMCA
The County Board authorized Bid Package 2 awards to low bidders for general demolition, footings and foundation, fire protection demolition, mechanical & electrical demolition and excavation in the amount of $949,786.  ORB will use best efforts through Value Engineering to reduce that amount by at least $70,000. 

Security Drill
A drill of the newly revised Cook County Lockdown policy will be conducted on Thursday, November 29th from 8:00 am to 9:00.  The building will be closed to business during that one hour time frame.

Meeting Minutes
A complete copy of meeting minutes for these meetings is available by contacting Janet Simonen at 387-3602 or by going to the County's website.  A video of the entire County Board meeting is available by going to Boreal.TV.