Service Redesign gets edgy

inyosups4_15Inyo County has big money problems. The tensions rose abruptly during a workshop when department heads differed over saving General Fund money and impacting people.

Health and Human Services officials made a presentation to the Supervisors on how some programs could be re-organized to save dollars. It all started with Assistant Health and Human Services Director Linda Benson. She introduced Anna Scott of Health and Human Services who described a possible plan for Toiyabe Indian Health Services to pick up some of the duties and costs related to jail inmates and medical needs.

Officials said jail inmate medical costs have the potential to climb very high, so plans to keep the lid on that kind of risk to the General Fund would make sense. Ms. Scott described Toiyabe as “a willing partner.”

Another area of potential savings, according to Ms. Scott, would come in the Public Administrator/ Public Guardian department. If the position of Deputy Public Administrator were to become vacant, that position might be eliminated for a savings of $83,000. Scott said there are other ways to restructure the Public Guardian portion of the department, transferring some of those duties to Social Services workers in Health and Human Services. Ms. Scott said this kind of scenario works in other counties and saves General Fund money.

Scott explained that a nurse will be hired soon and take over some of the Social Services employees’ work to free them up to handle Public Guardian work. The description of this trading of jobs got complicated. Supervisors’ questioned the health officials.

Patricia Barton, the elected Public Administrator/ Public Guardian, then said, “This whole scenario is more complicated than is being presented, with all due respect.” She said her department case manages on the spot. Things would be different under Health and Human Services. Said Barton, “There needs to be more information presented. It’s not just a fiscal consideration.”

County Administrator Kevin Carunchio spoke up abruptly and said a workshop on Barton’s caseload needs to be scheduled for next week. He said it was promised four months ago. Carunchio said the issue is reducing a General Fund position and having it paid for in the Health Department. Said Carunchio, “There’s some sandbagging going on here.” Ms. Barton apologized if he thought she was “sandbagging.” Said Barton, “I’m not offering resistance. I’m offering caution.”

Director of Health and Human Services, Jean Turner, said she shared Patricia Barton’s words of caution. She assured Barton that her department is not looking for more work. Turner said she was asked to look for ways to save General Fund money, and the State allows her department to spend money on Public Guardian duties within Health and Human Services.

Barton repeated that the proposal needs to be looked at in more depth. She said there are fiscal concerns but it needs to make sense.

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Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
7 years ago

Some of us have gifts that can be shared . DT has a vision and an understanding of economic minutiae that require abstract thinking on a level that is beyond my abilities . The brotherhood of Ignacio is challenged by the details of dynamic economic forces that are constantly played… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
7 years ago

Will you merry me?!

Inyoite
Inyoite
7 years ago

Patricia Barton is a dedicated elected public official. Her duties include helping the most vulnerable among us – the elderly who are unable to care for themselves. Transferring her duties to a bureaucratic department (HHS) is not a good idea. That was tried once before and it was a failure.… Read more »

Bone
Bone
7 years ago

You are all a bunch of idiots that cannot stay on subject. I recomend you use the services of mental health and get off your computer. Get a life.

Reality Check
Reality Check
7 years ago

Welcome to the new reality. If unemployment numbers were calculated the same way as in 1993, real unemployment would be at 23%. That is a depression. The endless money printing cannot go on forever. At some point the music will stop and there will not be enough chairs to go… Read more »

Steve
Steve
7 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Don’t forget the phony inflation numbers the government keeps reporting. This is really sad, I remember communist nations use to report phony numbers regard economic growth and people in the west used to laugh at the data; now it looks like we are following the in same footstep.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Not true. The method for calculating the unemployment rate has not changed. The argument Jack Welch, formerly of the BLS, is advancing is that the way the unemployment rate is calculated, based on the number of people actually looking for work, misses those who have given up and stopped looking.… Read more »

You have got to be kidding
You have got to be kidding
7 years ago

How do you figure that those that are still unemployed don’t count? In December long term unemployment expired and it effected 2.4 million plus people that were actively seeking employment thus the reason they were still collecting their benefits. You and I both know that you have to prove you… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago

What would you have “The Government” do? You don’t want unemployed people getting government jobs do you. And Obama tried to get the GOP to extend unemployment benefits and the House refused to pass a bill that the Senate had sent to them. But go ahead — blame Obama. That’s… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago

Did you bother to read and understand what I wrote? I explained it fully. The definition of being unemployed requires you to be both employable and looking for work. If you stop looking, you are no longer counted among the unemployed. I think I also explained that some would rather… Read more »

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

So are you telling me there is no inflation?

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Did I say that anywhere? No, I did not.

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

So DT, if the Government is lying to us about inflation what is stopping them from reporting false employment numbers. Also since we are doing to well on the employment side why is the Federal Reserve still keeping rates so low and still printing 65 billion a month? Please tell… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I guess I am not following your argument regarding inflation. I didn’t say anything one way or the other about it. I only talked about the unemployment rate. If you want to understand what the Fed is cryptically calling “Quantitative Easing” you have to understand what the money supply and… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
7 years ago

Keep drinking the government Koolaid DT. Reality is going to hit you like a freight train!

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

It is nobody’s koolaid. I’m a professional economist. This is how the unemployed are defined, not just in the US but everywhere in the world. Economics doesn’t change just because you cross national borders. The definition matters because it has to be well understood and consistent over time. If you… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
7 years ago

Soooo… You are a professional economist who is a truck driver. Paul Krugman must have been your mentor.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago

I paid for grad school driving gasoline tank trucks. I took one class per semester and worked full time while living alone. It required four years to accomplish this. I paid cash each semester, graduated debt free with money in the bank. Driving trucks put a roof over my head… Read more »

The Aggressive Progressive
The Aggressive Progressive
7 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Here’s a reality check to those studying economics; “those out there who talk about a green economy or the like, as if though there is such a thing that could possibly exist in this system, posing solutions within this structural order, such as renewable energies, energy credits, carbon footprints or… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
7 years ago

Ponder this, pollution is the result of ambiguous property rights. Who owns the air and the water? Pollution is a cost of production like labor and materials. If rights to air, water and other objects of pollution were well defined and those rights legally enforceable, the owners could charge firms… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
7 years ago

And I would add to DT’s post, that it is not that difficult to put an appropriate cost on pollution. Although we can’t individually collect a charge for someone polluting our air, through our government we can do so by putting taxes on pollution. A carbon tax would put a… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
7 years ago

Desert Tortoise, These unquantified costs are ones that you ignore or dismiss when you argue that rural infrastructure such as electrical service is subsidized “welfare”, and when you argue that solar plants in Owens Valley are no big deal. Cities and companies have become rich with the use of rural… Read more »

ram
ram
7 years ago

They need to cut service to cover the $650,000 in raises..