Nonprofit agency to supervise mental health funds

August 18, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The County Council has cleared the way for Anne Arundel to become the first local jurisdiction to use a nonprofit agency to coordinate state-funded mental health services.

The council approved a bill Monday night creating a Core Services Agency, which will administer nearly $7 million worth of services from the state Mental Hygiene Administration.

The county formed the nonprofit organization in accordance with County Executive Robert R. Neall's philosophy of privatizing some sectors of county government.

The agency will report to the secretary of health and mental hygiene, but the county retains the right to review its financial records. The county, which has the right to designate which agency will administer its state mental health funds, may also revoke that designation with a 90-day notice.

County mental health professionals had long lobbied for such an agency to coordinate services and handle state money. Anne Arundel was the only major jurisdiction in the state that did not have such an agency.

Ardath M. Cade, who coordinates the county's human services, said some money that could have come into the county went instead to jurisdictions that had organizations to use the funds.

The agency will receive an additional $200,000 from the state to cover administrative costs. The agency will also be able to apply for state and federal grants above what it receives from the state Mental Hygiene Administration.

An additional advantage is that counties with core services agencies are allowed to roll over surplus funds from one year to the next. Counties without such agencies must return leftover money.

In other business Monday, the council approved the appointment of four people to the Pension Oversight Commission: Jana H. Carey of Severna Park, a partner with the law firm of Venable, Baetjer and Howard who represents private and public employers in labor and employment law; Deborah G. Turner, president and owner of Turner Pension Consultants of Annapolis; Stephen E. Rohrbaugh of Arnold, the assistant controller with the AFL-CIO responsible for the administration of employee pension and 401(k) plans; and Edward J. Donahue III, a resident of Sherwood Forest and president of Municipal and Financial Services Group.

Resolutions were introduced appointing members of a commission that will set the salaries of council members and requesting that the personnel board recommend to the council a salary for the county executive.

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