MONROE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Meeting of March 15th, 2006
Community Services Center, Sparta, Wisconsin
BOARD PRESENT: STAFF PRESENT:
Jim Shilling, Chairperson Gene Phillips, Director
James Kuhn, Vice-Chairperson Sue Rettler, Clinic Administrator
Judith Dow Ron Hamilton, Social Work Supervisor
Bruce Humphrey Cathy Abbott, Admin. Services Coord.
James Rice BOARD ABSENT:
Cedric Schnitzler Robert Retzlaff, Secretary (Excused)
Call to Order: Chairperson James Shilling called the meeting to order at 8:33 a.m.
Recognitions: No employee recognitions were presented at this meeting.
Approval of Open Meeting Minutes for February 15th, 2006: Following brief review, A
MOTION MADE BY JAMES RICE, SECONDED BY JUDITH DOW, CARRIED WITH ALL
IN FAVOR to approve the open meeting minutes from February 15th, 2006 as printed.
Presentations: Long-Term Support Services: Susan Rettler reviewed the types of services,
target groups, and funding streams provided through the Long-Term Support unit, along with
describing the various types of screening tools and paper and computerized assessments that are
utilized to determine financial and functional eligibility of clients for services. The forms
distributed during this presentation were those utilized for the initial assessment process, as well
as the annual review for continued services. Ms. Rettler explained that a social worker must be
certified prior to being able to complete the assessment tools, and easily can spend between two
and a half to six hours to complete the entire initial process. On average, she said that social
workers in this unit have a caseload of 60-65 cases.
Administrative staff shared information about the following items:
The Coordinated Services Team grant was submitted in early March with awards
expected to be announced by the end of this month.
The Juvenile Electronic Monitoring Program is ready to begin as soon as the Sheriff’s
Department finalizes the equipment contract and will be provided through contracted
staff from Monroe County Shelter Care.
A certified social worker has been hired as a Nursing Home Relocation Specialist to
provide services through the Nursing Home Relocation Initiative.
A joint advisory committee will need to be named by the County Board Chairperson to
advise the agency on two program/grant areas, i.e., the Comprehensive Community
Services Program and the Coordinated Services Team. More details about recommended
members for this committee will be provided at the April meeting.
The Economic Support records will begin to be electronically scanned in April with
planning for the procedures of handling this process currently being developed.
The ACCESS Program will soon be made readily available via the Internet for new
Economic Support referrals to determine whether they might be eligible and apply for
benefits and for current clients to determine their current coverage/benefit levels.
Monroe County Dept. of Human Services
MINUTES: March 15th, 2006
A new initiative was shared for handling Medical Assistance transportation on a regional
basis by putting out bids to agencies interested in handling the program in the future.
Impacts to the current local system were discussed.
Regional Planning: Mr. Phillips informed Board members that six counties including
La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, Buffalo, Jackson and Vernon Counties have been awarded a
$100,000 implementation grant to coordinate Long-Term Support services on a regional basis.
A meeting scheduled later on this date is intended to begin the discussion of how to proceed with
this initiative by initially hiring a qualified individual to lead the development of a regionalized
Board Member Reports/Discussion: Mr. Shilling informed Board members that after the last
meeting, he had written letters to seven state representatives and he will include a copy of the
letter with these minutes for informational purposes.
Human Services Waiting List Considerations per the County Annual Meeting: Mr. Phillips
informed the Board about the increased demand on staff at Human Services and the need to
proceed with the plan for expansion of services and staffing, which had been presented during
last summer’s budgetary process. He also provided a Profit and Loss Statement through October
2005 that indicated the agency continues to remain well within the budgeted amount and should
end the year underutilizing the county appropriation. Board members recommended looking at
this issue further during the next Board meeting prior to returning to the Finance Committee,
which was suggested to be delayed until after final reconciliation for 2005 has occurred in May
or June. Mr. Phillips was requested to provide additional details at the next meeting regarding a
plan to remove people from the waiting list, generating revenue through expansion of staff and
programs, and prioritization of the various waiting lists with a recommendation of the programs
that would result in the most benefit from added revenue.
Drug Court Update: Mr. Phillips updated the Board regarding discussions that had occurred at
the Finance and Public Safety Committees over the past month regarding potential funding for
continuation of a variation of Drug Court following the end of the grant on March 31st. To date,
it appears that the program could potentially be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Public Safety
Committee under the Corporation Counsel’s office. Mr. Phillips delineated the current status of
the remaining Drug Court clients indicating that the last three clients have had treatment plans
developed for follow-up services. He also indicated that the Justice Coordinating Committee has
discussed plans to revitalize the program and again accept referrals should funding be made
available. A MOTION WAS MADE BY JAMES KUHN AND SECONDED BY JUDITH
DOW to transfer $20,000 from Fund 21 (Human Services) to Fund 10 (General Fund) toward the
estimated cost of $63,500 for continuation of a Drug Court Program. Following a lengthy
discussion about the pros and cons for this pending action, THE MOTION DID NOT PASS
WITH ALL MEMBERS EXCEPT MR. KUHN BEING OPPOSED TO THE MOTION.
Personnel Updates: Update on Staff Vacancy: Mr. Phillips updated the Board that interviews
had occurred for the vacant Business Administrator position with Board member, James Shilling,
having participated on the Interview Committee. The successful candidate will begin
employment on March 20th.
Monroe County Dept. of Human Services
MINUTES: March 15th, 2006
Review of Expenditure Vouchers: A summary voucher listing payments made for a four-week
period from February 12th through March 11th in the amount of $768,240.17 and detailed
vouchers paid February 10th listing $286,163.43 in 2006 expenses were presented for
informational purposes. Board members Cedric Schnitzler and Ida Rauss reviewed the vouchers
prior to this meeting. Following Board review, the vouchers were filed for audit purposes.
Revenue and Expenditure Summary Reports: A revenue and expense report was provided
through January 31st, which did not reveal much true analysis of the fiscal condition of the
agency as there are large pre-payments at this point in the year and expenses for January are not
paid until the subsequent month. Projections for the 2005 budget continue to be positive with
more details being presented over the next two to three months.
Amendments to Purchase of Service Contracts and Unanticipated Revenue Report: There
were no amendments or reports provided at this meeting.
Review of the Monroe County Long-Term Support and Citizens’ Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes of January 26th, 2006 and the Monroe County Planning Council Meeting
Minutes of February 21st, 2006: Minutes from the January 26th Long-Term Support and
Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting and the February 21st Monroe County Planning Council
meeting were presented for review. Ms. Abbott invited Board members to one of two workshops
planned for April 6th on Internet safety for children being coordinated through the Teen
Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting Coalition.
Date of Next Meeting/Agenda Topics/Location: The next regular monthly meeting was
scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on April 19th, 2006 at the Community Services Center in Sparta. Items
for inclusion on the next agenda were policy review and a presentation about another section in
Closed Session: A MOTION MADE BY JUDITH DOW, SECONDED BY IDA RAUSS,
CARRIED WITH ALL IN FAVOR to go into closed session to review the Long-Term Support
unit staff at 11:15 a.m.
Reconvene to Open Session: No actions were taken during closed session.
Adjournment (approximately 11:15 a.m.): With no further topics for discussion, A MOTION
MADE BY CEDRIC SCHNITZLER, SECONDED BY JAMES RICE, CARRIED WITH ALL
IN FAVOR to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.
Cathy L. Abbott
Administrative Services Coordinator