"New deal to lessen impact of Washtenaw mental health cuts", by Ryan Stanton, 1/21/16: Supported employment programs to stay with WCCMH, skill building programs to be contracted out.
Kelly Belknap, the county's chief financial officer, explains the financial implications of a compromise on mental health cuts:
officials are trying to close a $2 million-plus gap in the CMH budget,
citing state cuts in mental health funding as the reason.
"While a number of cuts, including job eliminations, still are proposed under the new plan, they're viewed as less severe now.
the savings don't quite close the gap, so the labor unions are asking
for $1.2 million in transitional funding to carry CMH through the end of
will allow them time to reorganize and restructure, so the savings that
are needed will become structural starting in January 2017." ...
[County Commissioner] Rabhi offered his own take on the mental health cuts the county is forced to make, taking a shot at state leaders.
"'When you have tax cuts for the wealthiest Michiganders, and a lack of investment in our infrastructure and public services, those tax cuts roll downhill, and the budget cuts that happen roll downhill," he said. "And at the local level, where the rubber hits the road, where the services are important, this is where those cuts then come.'
"Rabhi mentioned the Flint water crisis, calling it another consequence of running the government like a business and putting money before people. He said the state is putting pressure on local government to drive down costs and pay workers low wages, and he considers that an unacceptable way to serve citizens."