advertisement

Public Administrator Cathy Richards is Boone County's caretaker of last resort

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:26 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Boone County Public Administrator Cathy Richards is responsible for provid­ing the best pos­sible life­style for more than 400 cli­ents who cannot live in­de­pend­ently.

Editor's note: This story is part of a semester-long collaboration of nine senior journalism students called Project 573. Now in its second year, the project lets students with different journalism backgrounds (print, photojournalism, radio, television and strategic communication) work together to shed light on a topic that doesn't get much attention.

This year's topic is mental illness in mid-Missouri. People living with mental illness face a harsh reality. Stigma surrounds disorders and diminishing resources make help harder to find. While much of society ignores the problems, dedicated individuals work to fill the gaps.

Former public administrator seeks return to office

Cathy Richards’ first four-year term as Boone County pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or comes to an end this year. She is seek­ing reelec­tion, but will face com­pet­i­tion from an un­likely can­did­ate — a re­tired pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or who pre­vi­ously en­dorsed Richards’ cam­paign.

Con­nie Hendren served as Boone County’s pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or for 16 years be­fore re­tir­ing after 2008. She sup­por­ted Richards as her re­place­ment at that time. She since changed her mind.

“I would like to go back in and bring things back to where they once op­er­ated, which was ef­fi­ciently and co­oper­at­ively,” Hendren said. “And I would like to work with the cli­ents again.”

Hendren ac­know­ledges that the cli­ent base has grown since her re­tire­ment (of­fi­cial, an­nu­al re­ports say the in­crease has been 18 cli­ents), but be­lieves Richards has over-ex­ag­ger­ated the in­crease in work­load.

“I’m not aware of any of the re­sources that were there when I left that are not still there,” Hendren said. “I think that’s a spe­cif­ic that needs to be named. It’s very hard to jus­ti­fy.”

Hendren be­lieves her per­son­al ex­per­i­ence with men­tal ill­ness is im­port­ant. Since the spring of 2007, she has served as guard­i­an and con­ser­vat­or for her sis­ter, who is five years young­er and lives with bi­polar dis­order.

The elec­tion will be held in Au­gust.


Related Media

Related Articles

An Unsung System tells the stories of these individuals. In upcoming weeks, you will find many of the stories in the Missourian, as well as on KBIA and KOMU. The entire project can be found at www.unsungsystem.project573.com.

COLUMBIA — Today’s task seems com­plic­ated.

Boone County Pub­lic Ad­min­is­trat­or Cathy Richards has a cli­ent who re­ceived a rent re­bate, a check from the Mis­souri De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue that gives the eld­erly and dis­abled a re­turn on a por­tion of their an­nu­al rent ex­penses.

Richards knows the re­bate — usu­ally between $500 and $750 — can mean a lot to a cli­ent: a new pair of shoes, a vis­it to an eye doc­tor or a birth­day present for a fam­ily mem­ber.

But Richards also knows the money will in­crease this cli­ent’s per­son­al check­ing ac­count past $1,000. And that’s a prob­lem, be­cause $999.99 is the cut-off point for re­ceiv­ing Medi­caid be­ne­fits.

Richards knows what to do. Since start­ing her job in 2009, she has en­countered this prob­lem many times. She takes a seat in the third-floor Boone County courtroom that is home to the pro­bate court, the branch of jur­is­dic­tion that deals spe­cific­ally with the cli­ents Boone County voters elec­ted Richards to serve.

Richards waits pa­tiently for a judge’s ap­prov­al on a pe­ti­tion that will al­low the rent re­bate to be moved in­to the Mid­w­est Spe­cial Needs Trust, a nonprofit agency that can­not hurt the cli­ent’s chances of re­ceiv­ing Medi­caid as­sist­ance be­cause it op­er­ates in­de­pend­ently from state gov­ern­ment.

Mak­ing the most of a cli­ent’s money is just one of the ways Richards and her staff work to sup­port Boone County cli­ents who re­quire the of­fice’s as­sist­ance.

“You’ll nev­er get it all,” the 59-year-old says of her job re­spons­ib­il­it­ies. “Be­cause something pops up all the time.”

The somethings stem from the more than 400 people who live un­der the care of the Boone County pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or. These in­di­vidu­als — known as cli­ents or wards — have been deemed in­cap­able of liv­ing com­pletely in­de­pend­ent lives by the county’s pro­bate court.

Some are chil­dren without par­ents. Some are eld­erly, also alone. But most, the of­fice es­tim­ates 90 per­cent, live with men­tal ill­ness.

In serving that 90 per­cent, Richards walks the thin line between fiery ad­voc­ate, com­pas­sion­ate care­taker and no-non­sense busi­ness man­ager.

But her job is get­ting harder. The num­ber of Boone County cli­ents has in­creased by 136 in the past 10 years. While the num­ber has grown, loc­al, state and fed­er­al gov­ern­ments con­tin­ue to put fund­ing for men­tal health ser­vices at the bot­tom of the pri­or­ity list.

The re­per­cus­sion is the pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or’s of­fice try­ing to do more with less, an ef­fort that is largely un­known to the Boone County tax­pay­ers who pay the bill.

The un­known of­fice

Some call to ask for dir­ec­tions. Oth­ers want to file com­plaints about road sur­faces or driv­ing con­di­tions.

Em­ploy­ees in the Boone County pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or’s of­fice laugh about the ran­dom phone calls they have re­ceived from people who mis­un­der­stand its role.

“A lot of people don’t know what we do,” said Jo­hanna Sick­ler, an of­fice ac­count­ant.

These are the facts:

The Mis­souri Gen­er­al As­sembly es­tab­lished the of­fice of pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or in 1880. Now, all of the state’s 114 counties, along with the city of St. Louis, have their own pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or. Every pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or but three (Jack­son County, St. Charles County and the City of St. Louis) is chosen by elec­tion every four years.

One responsibility of the office is as­sum­ing con­trol of homes, bank ac­counts and oth­er es­tate items that cannot be passed along after someone in the county dies.

The more im­port­ant, time-con­sum­ing duty is provid­ing the most free­dom and best life­style to the cli­ents who are still living.

There were 398 cli­ents as­signed to Cathy Richards’ care in some way at the start of 2012. The cli­ents live in houses, apart­ments, res­id­en­tial care fa­cil­it­ies and state psy­chi­at­ric cen­ters that are spread across Missouri.

An es­tim­ated 90 per­cent of her clients are men­tally ill, a per­cent­age that is sim­il­ar for most of Mis­souri's public administrators.

“Most of the people this of­fice takes care of have a chron­ic, per­sist­ent men­tal health con­di­tion, of­ten with co-oc­cur­ring dis­ab­il­it­ies,” said Terry Ed­wards, act­ing pres­id­ent of the Mis­souri As­so­ci­ation of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­trat­ors and cur­rent Platte County pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or.

Shift­ing re­spons­ib­il­ity

Richards’ cli­ents who live with men­tal ill­ness fit no particular mold.

They in­clude a young wo­man who has been dia­gnosed with para­noid schizo­phrenia, whose moth­er, liv­ing with the same ill­ness, is a cli­ent in an­oth­er county. They in­clude a sol­dier who battles post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­order.

Some of Richards’ men­tally ill cli­ents have com­mit­ted dan­ger­ous crimes and are watched around the clock at Fulton State Hos­pit­al. Oth­ers live in apart­ments and go to work every day.

All go through the same leg­al pro­ceed­ings to get to Richards.

The pro­cess starts when someone’s struggle with severe men­tal ill­ness be­comes pub­lic in some way. An ar­rest is made. A hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion oc­curs. A con­cerned neigh­bor calls a hot­line. A fam­ily mem­ber needs help in order to cope.

A county’s pro­bate court de­term­ines if an in­ter­ven­tion is ne­ces­sary.

The court has three op­tions once it determines that a per­son with men­tal ill­ness is a risk to him­self or her­self or oth­ers:

  • The court can ap­point a con­ser­vat­or to man­age the per­son’s fin­ances.
  • It can strip the per­son of his or her rights and as­sign a guard­i­an to act in the per­son’s best in­terest.
  • It can or­der that the per­son re­ceives both a guard­i­an and con­ser­vat­or.

These three court-ordered ap­proaches can be var­ied slightly to meet a cli­ent’s in­di­vidu­al needs.

“The state takes it very ser­i­ously, tak­ing away someone’s rights," Richards said. “I mean that’s a big thing. But when it fi­nally ends up in court, you know pretty darn well (the state) has tried everything to have (cli­ents) keep their rights. But they just can’t make good, in­formed de­cisions without harm­ing them­selves or oth­ers.”

Ideally, when the court or­ders that a con­ser­vat­or, guard­i­an or some com­bin­a­tion of the two is re­quired, a fam­ily mem­ber or friend can ap­ply and be gran­ted per­mis­sion to serve the role.

“The court wants it to go that way,” Richards said. “The court really wants the fam­ily to take them.”

But fam­il­ies and friends who want to help are of­ten not able to keep up with the pa­per­work de­man­ded of con­ser­vat­ors (reg­u­lar re­ports must be filed to the pro­bate court). They are also not as fa­mil­i­ar with nav­ig­at­ing the net­work of care op­tions and treat­ment pro­grams avail­able for a per­son with men­tal ill­ness.

Richards says some friends and fam­ily make it work. But she has also watched some try their best be­fore even­tu­ally ask­ing her to step in.

For fam­ily and friends, the trans­ition can be a re­lief. No longer burdened by or­gan­iz­ing and main­tain­ing care while man­aging fin­ances, they can re­turn to simply loving their loved ones.

“I tell them of­ten,” Ed­wards, the pres­id­ent of the state’s or­gan­ized body of pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­ors, said. “Let me be the pro­tect­ive wall that will take care of your fam­ily mem­ber. And you get to be fam­ily.”

Dis­tan­cing duty and com­pas­sion

Cathy Richards grew up on her fam­ily’s farm out­side of Har­ris­burg. The grand­daugh­ter of a mid­wife and the sixth of eight chil­dren, she said her fam­ily pri­or­it­ized tak­ing care of one an­oth­er.

After gradu­at­ing from Har­ris­burg High School, Richards and her first hus­band (she has since di­vorced and re­mar­ried) raised two chil­dren. It was not un­til her kids were grown that she be­came the first in her fam­ily to fin­ish col­lege, gradu­at­ing from Columbia Col­lege with an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree in fine arts in her early 40s.

She con­tin­ued her edu­ca­tion at Wil­li­am Woods Uni­versity. She earned a bach­el­or’s de­gree in busi­ness man­age­ment in 2006, but had then real­ized she grav­it­ated to­ward top­ics that in­volved in­ter­ac­tion and re­la­tion­ships. She took a few nurs­ing classes be­fore de­cid­ing to pur­sue a master's in coun­sel­ing — a de­gree she will fin­ish at Steph­ens Col­lege this year.

She thinks com­ing to col­lege later in life helped her ad­just to be­ing a pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or. Her coun­sel­ing and nurs­ing ex­per­i­ence help her talk to her cli­ents. She looks for com­mon ground, stays friendly and ap­proach­able. She cares.

But she also keeps a dis­tance.

She sees how hard it is for fam­il­ies to provide for loved ones who have severe men­tal ill­ness. She ad­mires their per­sist­ence and ded­ic­a­tion. But she knows she could nev­er take the same ap­proach to the hun­dreds of people her of­fice over­sees. For that reas­on, she keeps her re­la­tion­ships with cli­ents pro­fes­sion­al in­stead of per­son­al.

“It’s not our job to be their fam­ily,” she said. “It’s our job to help them live as in­de­pend­ently as they can.”

She ex­presses com­pas­sion through hard work, not hugs.

“My re­spons­ib­il­ity is to make sure the ma­jor things are taken care of — health, wel­fare, all of that,” she said. “I look at it more as a duty, as a job re­spons­ib­il­ity, than I do on the per­son­al side. I have to dis­tance my­self from that.”

Main­tain­ing care

Ideally, every cli­ent even­tu­ally leaves the pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or’s care. As an in­di­vidu­al gets bet­ter through treat­ment pro­grams, a friend or fam­ily mem­ber can pe­ti­tion to take over con­ser­vat­or or guard­i­an­ship. A cli­ent whose health has im­proved stead­ily over the course of time can pe­ti­tion the pro­bate court every six months for a res­tor­a­tion of his or her in­di­vidu­al rights.

But un­til they leave, cli­ents live in a net­work de­signed for their care.

They have case­work­ers and so­cial work­ers to help with every­day situ­ations. They have deputy ad­min­is­trat­ors who check in and help cre­ate treat­ment plans that hope­fully lead to re­cov­ery.

They have a pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or who has been as­signed to work in their best in­terest over­see­ing and in­flu­en­cing everything from the top.

For Richards’ of­fice, the pro­cess starts as soon as a cli­ent is ad­ded to the case­load.

New cli­ents of­ten need a new place to live. Richards keeps a 96-page, dog-eared doc­u­ment in her desk. The list names every fa­cil­ity in the state where cli­ents could be placed. The fa­cil­it­ies, spread throughout Mis­souri, vary in size and ser­vices offered.

Richards, along with the two deputy ad­min­is­trat­ors who work with her, bal­ance loc­a­tion with cli­ent needs. Once a cli­ent is placed, Richards and her depu­ties try to check on the cli­ent four times a year. One of the vis­its must be made in per­son.

It’s not un­usu­al to see cli­ents more fre­quently. Richards makes trips to Sedalia once a month, driv­ing west on In­ter­state 70 of­ten enough to no­tice wheth­er the Mis­souri River is high or low when she crosses the bridge.

She makes the trip to see a cli­ent with be­ha­vi­or­al prob­lems. He does bet­ter when she vis­its more of­ten.

Most cli­ents do.

Richards and the deputy ad­min­is­trat­ors have driven enough Mis­souri high­ways to spend just more than $10,000 on gas each of the past three years.

The meet­ings are im­port­ant. Richards and the deputy ad­min­is­trat­ors ex­am­ine the cli­ent and the fa­cil­ity. They speak with a cli­ent’s case­work­er about re­cent vis­its to doctors and changes that should be made to treat­ment plans.

A cli­ent who is im­prov­ing might need to move to a less-re­stric­ted hous­ing op­tion. A cli­ent hav­ing prob­lems might need to be re­lo­cated to a place that of­fers dif­fer­ent ser­vices.

While Richards and her depu­ties travel, the of­fice’s oth­er em­ploy­ees work from the court­house, pro­cessing all the pa­per­work and book­keep­ing that comes with cli­ent fin­ances.

Cli­ents who are un­able to man­age their fin­ances are still al­lowed to have per­son­al bank ac­counts. Some receive por­tions of their own money to spend as they wish. Oth­ers come to the of­fice to pick up a weekly al­low­ance.

Every time a cli­ent wishes to make a pur­chase that costs more than $75, the pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or’s of­fice must pe­ti­tion the pro­bate court for ap­prov­al.

“Cli­ents live on a budget,” said Sick­ler, the only full-time ac­count­ant in the of­fice. “We have to keep them on that budget.”

Man­aging the money helps keeps a client out of fin­an­cial trouble. It keeps the pur­chase of a pay-per-view movie from cut­ting in­to money meant for gro­cer­ies. It min­im­izes the chances of a cred­it card rack­ing up excessive charges.

Just as much of a con­cern is pro­tect­ing cli­ents from people look­ing to take ad­vant­age. Cli­ents with sig­ni­fic­ant amounts of money are in­sured un­der a bond held in Richards’ name. If the money dis­ap­pears, she is held re­spons­ible.

The of­fice also over­sees the pay­ment of a cli­ent's bills, ran­ging from big ex­penses (rent checks, hos­pit­al vis­its) to small (vac­cines for pets, cable pay­ments and bus tick­ets).

Every year, the of­fice must file re­ports with the pro­bate court that list every cli­ent’s in­di­vidu­al as­sets.

“The pro­bate court is like an aud­it­or for us,” Richards said. “I like the idea that there’s an­oth­er pair of eyes be­cause there’s an aw­ful lot of money that comes and goes out of here.”

Case num­ber rising

The un­of­fi­cial num­ber of Boone County’s total cli­ent pop­u­la­tion fluc­tu­ates as cli­ents enter and leave the supervision of the of­fice dur­ing the year. But from an­nu­al re­ports filed by Richards’ of­fice, the num­ber of cli­ents in Boone County has grown by 18 since Richards took of­fice in Janu­ary 2009.

That means Richards and her two deputy ad­min­is­trat­ors are in charge of over­see­ing about 132 cli­ents each — even more now that ad­di­tion­al cli­ents have been ad­ded since the re­port (Richards be­lieves the cur­rent count has passed 400).

The pres­id­ent of the Mis­souri As­so­ci­ation of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­trat­ors be­lieves a 1-to-132 pro­por­tion is “ter­rible.”

Ed­wards served as a deputy ad­min­is­trat­or for Clay County for 14 years be­fore tak­ing the head po­s­i­tion in Platte County eight years ago. She knows firsthand the prob­lem of an over­loaded of­fice.

Her Platte County of­fice over­sees 225 cli­ents with the help of four depu­ties. She and the depu­ties are each re­spons­ible for 45 cli­ents, and she says that is too many. She be­lieves the per­fect num­ber is 25 to 35 cli­ents per ad­min­is­trat­or or deputy.

“I’ve been the deputy and the pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or,” Ed­wards said. “I know once you get a case­load that is 40 to 50 people long, you’re put­ting out fires.”

A fire is a meta­phor for a cli­ent in crisis. While case­work­ers and so­cial work­ers are the first line of re­sponse, the pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or must also drop everything to best serve cli­ents in emer­gency situ­ations.

Hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion might be needed. A change in pre­scrip­tion medi­cine could be re­quired. An as­sign­ment of a dif­fer­ent case­work­er could be the an­swer. The pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or has to ap­prove it all.

Richards said fa­cil­it­ies have called as many as 30 times in one day when a cli­ent is in crisis.

“It just stops us in our tracks,” she said.

Richards has tried to stream­line the way her of­fice works to make the most of valu­able time. She hired Sick­ler, whose pres­ence helps keep pa­per­work from pil­ing up. She also got the of­fice its first scan­ner and star­ted the pro­cess of di­git­iz­ing re­cords. She in­stalled a com­puter pro­gram that lets her and her depu­ties ac­cess cli­ents’ re­cords from home dur­ing emer­gen­cies.

Oth­er at­tempts have not been suc­cess­ful.

Richards asked to add an­oth­er deputy po­s­i­tion in the 2012 budget. The county com­mis­sion denied the re­quest.

Most pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­ors take on a smal­ler cli­ent base than their depu­ties in or­der to deal with the ad­min­is­trat­ive du­ties that come with run­ning the of­fice.

That is not an op­tion for Richards.

“In or­der to man­age the of­fice and do what I’m sup­posed to be do­ing, get­ting money fund­ing, keep­ing up on everything like I am sup­posed to do, I should have less,” Richards said. “But how much do you place on one in­di­vidu­al?”

Few­er beds, ser­vices shuffled

When she talks about the Mis­souri De­part­ment of Men­tal Health, Richards chooses her words care­fully. She wants it to be clear that the de­part­ment does good work. She is adam­ant that it’s not the work­ers in­side the de­part­ment but the budget makers in charge of the purse strings that gen­er­ate her frus­tra­tion.

“The De­part­ment of Men­tal Heath has a lot of good people,” Richards said. “And we would not be able to do much without them. Our con­cern is everything be­ing taken away from them. They have to do as they’re be­ing told.”

While Mis­souri’s pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­ors do not get money dir­ectly from the Men­tal Health Department, their cli­ents be­ne­fit from the ser­vices and pro­grams the de­part­ment provides. De­part­ment money helps the agen­cies that dis­patch case­work­ers to cli­ents as well as the hous­ing op­tions lis­ted on Richards’ big, thick 96-page list.

The department — along with oth­er states across the na­tion — has cut back and closed large, state-run psy­chi­at­ric fa­cil­it­ies. Pla­cing and mov­ing cli­ents in­to fa­cil­it­ies that provide ap­pro­pri­ate care has be­come more dif­fi­cult.

Fulton State Hos­pit­al, St. Joseph Hos­pit­al, the Nevada Re­hab­il­it­a­tion Cen­ter and Farm­ing­ton State Hos­pit­al have all seen cuts from the state in the past two years.

The clos­ings save the states money be­cause they steer the re­lo­ca­tion of the men­tally ill to­ward gen­er­al hos­pit­als and nurs­ing homes that re­ceive twice as much Medi­caid re­im­burse­ments as psy­chi­at­ric cen­ters alone.

Richards said the prob­lem is that many of her cli­ents re­quire long-term psy­chi­at­ric care. Gen­er­al hos­pit­als and nurs­ing homes are not as suited to provide the ad­vanced treat­ment needed for ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia.

Since the state-run psy­chi­at­ric fa­cil­it­ies closed and cut bed counts, few al­tern­at­ive op­tions re­placed them, she said.

This makes it harder to place the cli­ents com­ing in­to the sys­tem for the first time and harder to move the cli­ents on the path to re­cov­ery in­to less-re­strict­ive al­tern­at­ives.

“You’re com­pet­ing with every oth­er pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or to get that place,” Richards said. “All 114 coun­tries are want­ing some­where to place their people. What might be an ideal place for them, there’s no room.”

A fight con­tin­ues

Richards is in con­stant battle.

Since tak­ing on the role of pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­or, she has been fight­ing to serve the pop­u­la­tion that so­ci­ety chooses to ig­nore.

She fights her­self as she bal­ances com­pas­sion with dis­tance. She knows the per­fect com­bin­a­tion leads to the best res­ults for her cli­ents.

As the Boone County cli­ent base slowly ticks up­ward, she fights to make sure more cli­ents have what they need to live well.

It’s get­ting harder in more ways than one.

The rent re­bate that Richards’ cli­ent re­ceived, the reas­on she ap­peared in pro­bate court on a re­cent Fri­day morn­ing, might not be avail­able for much longer. Mis­souri law­makers held a spe­cial ses­sion this year to look at ways to bal­ance the state budget. One pro­pos­al sug­ges­ted cut­ting the rent re­bate pro­gram.

The re­bate sur­vived, but Richards and oth­er state pub­lic ad­min­is­trat­ors fear it could be elim­in­ated soon.

She knows the re­mov­al of the pro­gram would be one more change that makes the lives of her cli­ents a little tough­er. But that’s a worry for the fu­ture.

Today, the rent re­bate pro­gram is alive and well. And the check Richards holds in her hand is destined for a spe­cial trust that will let her cli­ent keep both cash and Medi­caid eli­gib­il­ity.

A quick sig­na­ture from a judge, and Richards is out the door and onto her next mis­sion.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

robert link May 16, 2012 | 7:02 a.m.

This woman is fantastic, professional and caring in a tough job. I have been in contact with her many times with concerns regarding a nieghbor who had no local family and was suffering from dementia. Always approachable, addressing any issues and always fulfilled any agreements or promises.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks May 16, 2012 | 7:47 a.m.

"Richards waits pa­tiently for a judge’s ap­prov­al on a pe­ti­tion that will al­low the rent re­bate to be moved in­to the Mid­w­est Spe­cial Needs Trust, a nonprofit agency that can­not hurt the cli­ent’s chances of re­ceiv­ing Medi­caid as­sist­ance be­cause it op­er­ates in­de­pend­ently from state gov­ern­ment."

Isn't this something similar to tax fraud or govt fraud? Moving money around so that it does not get accounted for?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 16, 2012 | 8:12 a.m.

Corey:

That bothered me, also. One branch of government (Dept of Revenue) sends money to an apparently qualified citizen, and that money when deposited into a personal account would put the citizen in violation of rules from a second gov't agency (Medicaid), so a third gov't agency (public administrator) has to have the blessing of a 4th gov't agency (judge) to transfer the funds to a 5th agency (nonprofit) and this all works because agency #5 isn't affiliated with gov't.

Hell, I just wrote all that and I'm still confused.

Is this process a candidate for waste. inefficiency, and make-work for civil servants?

By all accounts, our public administrator is doing a good job. How much better of a job could she do if she didn't have to spend all this time dealing with an extraordinarily inefficient gov't process?

Can someone explain to me how this system is.....a good thing?

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene May 16, 2012 | 9:34 a.m.

seems the whole proces could be eliminated with proper accruals, thereby freeing up her time to advocate better quality of life.

... or is the goal to create a bigger gov.?

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks May 16, 2012 | 10:32 p.m.

I should call my accountant and see if I can create a non profit that it set up to assist all family members at a specific address (mine) and then have all my customers write checks to that account for work I do over the course of a year so that when tax time comes I will not have to fork over the thousands I usually do. Do you think that would fly with the IRS?

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements