Some HHS Board members uninterested in regional redesignThe proposed model for regional delivery of human services lost support of the Goodhue County Health and Human Services Board Tuesday.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
The proposed model for regional delivery of human services lost support of the Goodhue County Health and Human Services Board Tuesday.
While most members initially had no intention of making a decision on whether to join 11 other counties in the regional redesign, one board member had his mind made up.
After being presented updated information about one of the latest regional redesign meetings in Rochester on May 7, Gary Iocco determined that combining human services delivery would cause Goodhue County to lose local control, something he had no interest in giving up.
Under the most recent governance model proposed by Accenture, a 14-member board would be developed with three representatives from Olmsted County and one from every other county. Voting weight of the board would vary based on how much money each county contributes. The proposed model has Olmsted funding about 47 percent, meaning it will have nearly half of the control when it comes to voting.
“It’s going to be driven by Olmsted County,” Iocco said of the regional service model. “They have the most to gain.”
One thing in particular that would benefit Olmsted when combining with other counties would be having assistance in paying for non-mandated services. Olmsted currently provides many services that other counties don’t and that the state does not require.
“The way the redesign is being set up right now is that all of the other counties that are part of it will be paying for those expenses in Rochester,” Commissioner Ted Seifert said.
Iocco made a motion at Tuesday’s Health and Human Services Board meeting to say no to continuing participating in the redesign.
Commissioner Jim Bryant said he was leaning in Iocco’s direction but wasn’t ready to reject the redesign idea, so he posed a motion to table any vote to the board’s June meeting. It failed 3-4.
Returning to Iocco’s motion, the final vote was 4-3 to leave the redesign. Commissioners Bryant, Dan Rechtzigel and Richard Samuelson opposed.
Despite the HHS Board’s decision, Seifert — who sits on a steering committee for the redesign — will continue attending the regional meetings since he was selected to be there by the Goodhue County Board, not the HHS Board.
“Technically we’re not out,” Seifert explained, adding that he’s happy he has some solid feedback to bring to the next regional meeting. “That’s exactly what I wanted in my pocket.”
Seifert said the HHS Board decision will show Accenture, Olmsted County and other people who are trying to continue with the current model that something different needs to be done.
“If you want to move forward with all 12 counties, you’ll have to make a few changes,” he said.