This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change, depending upon my awareness of changes in factual information. It is my intent to remain focussed on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
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At the evening Schoolcraft County audit and finance meeting of 03/25/04, I was unsettled by the apparent means and style used by Sam Harma, Executive Director of Hiawatha Behavioral Health, in his attempt to maintain past levels of county tax payer funding of his domain. In a continuing struggle to remain equitable and solvent, in times of declining state tax revenue sharing, the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners was presented with several choices, by Director Harma, after a supporting introduction by Commissioner Frenette, an H.B.H. Board member. The essential message I heard, delivered by Mr. Harma to the Commissioners was - restore the $30,000 the County Board cut from its appropriation to H.B.H. or go to court and be compelled to restore the cut, and pay court costs.
Apparently smug and secure in his position of unspecified rectitude, with a smile on his face much of the time, Mr. Harma sparred with several commissioners that expressed serious concern about the impact of the H.B.H. Director's claim to past levels of funding. The H.B.H. Director stated that the mandatory level of funding he claimed was specified in a 1997 Resolution Creating a Community Mental Health Authority and "by law". No explanation, or elaboration, was offered by Director Harma for the rest of the discussion of the H.B.H. appropriation cut, a discussion that continued under the Director's unsubstantiated premise of an eternal, inescapable and uncontrollable financial obligation for the county.
As I sat watching the proceedings of that County Board meeting, I imagined Director Harma as a smiling adept con artist, chatting away while running a shell game, showing no fear of any challenge to his claim that the game was straight. It was as if he had prior knowledge that his marks were ignorant, hooked and helpless, and incapable of any challenge to the honesty of the game, as he palmed the pea.
In the context of the 03/25/03 discussions, the pea, that I imagined, represented his unspecified claimed basis for his demand that an appropriation for H.B.H. be paid, based on a 1997 level that could not be changed. He did not refer to specific contract terms of the 1997 "Resolution Creating A Community Mental Health Authority". He did not refer to specific paragraphs of State legislation. He referred to nothing in particular to justify his claim, or to edify those to whom he owed the simple courtesy of germane, direct and specific justification for his demand for public funds.
At this moment, after reading the documents Director Harma referred to, on 03/25/04, I have more reason to believe in the integrity of my imagined character, than the integrity and content of the Director's presentation.
I have no reason to believe that the 03/25/03 scenario, one that I suspect was repeated, in some form or other, in Mackinac and Chippewa counties, was considered in any part of the written 1997 agreement for community mental health authority funding. At the 03/25/03 County Board meeting, Director Harma expressed no more justification for mandatory 1997 levels of funding for H.B.H. than his unspecified claim, "by law"; a shabby unprofessional justification offered to those that help fund his empire with County resident tax revenues. To those that do not know his business, it was a meaningless answer. Assuming the meeting was not choreographed, it could mean nothing to ignorant commissioners, or members of the public, that know little to nothing of the details of executive H.B.H. business, or the Director's vague evasive presentation, or contract law.
As a tax payer, bound to pay my share of community mental health bills, I would like to know what part of the 1997 agreement, or applicable legislation, requires Schoolcraft County to continue 1997 levels, or any other specific level of community mental health tax revenue funding. I would like to read the language of the authority, referred to by Director Harma, that compels Schoolcraft County to maintain the 1997 level of H.B.H. county tax funding, contrary to the stated implications, in the Mental Health Code Act 258 of 1974, that both the State and Counties budget appropriations for mental health services will fluctuate.
As a tax payer, I have no use for apparent, implied, or explicit unjustified evasion, deceit, coercion, extortion, or fraud, with or without a smile. I ask for no more than a legitimate and relevant reason why community mental health tax based funding should remain inviolate, in the context of continued declining State and County revenues. With sound substantiated reasons, I will be satisfied, as I suspect will commissioners who want to make justified and ethical choices to cut all budget appropriations as necessary, including H.B.H.'s.
If the 9:1 matching State funds, at a ratio subject to yearly change for each dollar of county match, are sufficiently important, then I expect H.B.H. to cut expenses from its ~$15,000,000+? budget and find a legal and creative to way to secure the matching State funds, otherwise lost, with the funds it saves from its own budget cuts. I expect H.B.H. to be held accountable to the same fiscal realities that compel me and other tax payers, to consider supporting any and all of a considered Headlee Amendment override ballot proposal, an additional real property millage proposal, a city income tax proposal, a personal property tax, or any other means to maintain a level of government goods and services that I am less than happy with, regarding value received for money spent.
To state my limited tax payer view, I care not about any unpalatable fiscally related H.B.H. decisions that Director Harma should make to operate H.B.H. within the constraints of any mutually agreed, voluntary, tri-county budget appropriation for community mental health. Among other responsibilities, he is paid to operate the community health program within the budget constraints established by the level of local government appropriations. To the best of my knowledge, existing legislation has no way of forcing any particular level of funding, beyond the three counties' voluntary yearly shared appropriation, within the framework of the contract terms that established the community mental health authority. If it was Director Harma's intention to make my points, or his, since October 2003, he failed, miserably.
It may be a legislated part of Executive Director Harma's job to pursue, aggressively, any and all means to fund his empire for the benefit of his clients. He may have the blessing of the Mental Health Authority Board of Directors to extort from the ignorant general County populace, all that he can, by "leaning" on the various ignorant County Boards to fund, at a constant level, a mental health service empire for the benefit of a minority of unfortunate residents. He may have, in the light of a Mental Health Authority Board of Directors that approves his conduct, little accountability to anyone but himself, at the cost of other goods and services lost to county residents, in general. If the above is true, as I understand Director Harma's evasive behavior, it appears to me, then, as far as I am concerned, the Community Mental Health Authority was created in Hell, and maintained by those that have the responsibility to know better.
If the State of Michigan, Schoolcraft County, Manistique Area Schools and the City of Manistique must make substantial cuts in their personnel, goods and services provided taxpayers, I am not willing to accept the premise that "the law" exempts and protects community mental health from County budget appropriation cuts. At the moment, I can only assume, given Director Harma's lack of specificity on 03/25/03, and before, that any H.B.H. immunization from the consequences of state-wide budget cuts comes as a consequence of Director Harma's creative use of knowledge that he is unwilling to share with those that have asked for details since October of 2003, or before.
The fact that the mental health authority is far more like a corporation funded by public funds, now, than the Schoolcraft County government agency it once was, gives Director Harma far more latitude concerning the extent to which he can kick and gouge to achieve his goals, or those of the authority's board. He is no longer an employee of Schoolcraft county, but an executive appointed to the position of Director by the Mental Health Authority Board of Directors that has the responsibility to know, understand, review, and act accordingly.
As I have said before, with no rationale to consider otherwise, if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and acts like a duck, I have sufficient reason to consider that it is, most likely, a duck, until the critter provides me reasons to conclude otherwise.
Perception helps potential victims to escape predators. As a past and potential victim of deceit, in its various forms, it ain't the ducks that I fear, it is the predators. With no reason to believe otherwise, regarding the funding issue considered, I suspect that H.B.H. Director Harma will flush any ethics that he has to convince Schoolcraft County Commissioners that there is no way they can reduce community mental health funding below the 1997 level.
With no inside knowledge, I can only speculate the reasons for Director Harma's behavior, based on my understanding of the documents I refer to, basic contract law, and the County Board discussions of 03/25/04 that I witnessed. In addition to my personal conclusion that it is Director Harma's nature, or a professional H.B.H. executive requirement, to be a schemer, deceiver and evader, I would not be surprised if H.B.H. planned to, or has already incurred State financial obligations that exceed what can be met with the state funds available for the Schoolcraft County local match, as Director Harma was made aware of in October, 2003.
Schoolcraft County may be remiss in its unilateral attempt to control H.B.H. appropriations, but the H.B.H. Director is far more remiss in his attempt to prey on ignorant commissioners that represent the general public interests that ultimately pay the Director's salary, benefits, and perks. A candid discussion between the Director and Commissioners would have kept me silent, and addressed everyone's concerns, in an appropriate manner.
Regardless of speculated motives, to me, it was obvious that unspecified H.B.H. ends justified the Director's too obvious devious means to create an atmosphere of ignorance, fear and confusion to assure a continued and stable level of funding during times when most local government interests are trying to keep red ink at bay in a more ethical manner.
For those that might wonder what appropriate solution might exist, if Director Harma's claims are as questionable and likely untrue, as I have plenty of reason to conclude, I offer this following this solution, based on my limited understanding of the issues. Whether it is viable, or not, must be determined by someone with the legal credentials to consider the various counties interests in the current mental health authority agreement:
As I understand what I read, the tri-county Boards of Commissioners may choose a different method of proportional funding, as required by Public Act 258 authority for the 1997 contract that formed the mental health authority. They may choose any level of funding they wish that does not exceed the level of the "...county match in fiscal year 1994-1995 or the year the authority is created, whichever is greater." No lower limit is referred to. Co-operation between the contracting counties is the key.
What cannot be done, is for any one county to unilaterally change its level of funding that would then violate the terms of the 1997 contract that sets the proportions of the tri-county mutually agreed per capita based funding of the mental health authority. As I understand the situation, on 03/25/04, that is what Schoolcraft County tried to do.
It is my opinion that a new level of funding can be chosen for each year, if necessary, by mutual agreement of the tri-county Boards of Commissioners. It is their business to inform the Director of H.B.H. what level of proportional appropriations H.B.H. will function within, after deciding how much of the mental health authority's request for funds that they can cover. It is not the demands, or threats, of the Director of H.B.H. that determines the collective, or individual county boards' budget appropriations for mental health, regardless of unspecified and unsubstantiated claims, or implications, to the contrary.
If Director Harma provides a specific, legitimate and verifiable basis for his claims, that, to the best of my knowledge he has not done since October 2003, then he will be vindicated and may expect and spend the claimed local 1997 level H.B.H. funding, forever, without my blessing but with my silence.
I do not know that the following quoted extracts from Michigan Act 258 and other documents represent the total basis for the Counties' funding of H.B.H.. I offer these quotes and references as nothing more than a limited qualitative basis for my justified conclusion that, contrary to Director Harma's unjustified claim, there is no lower legislated expense limit for community mental health spending. It is my opinion that if the counties involved do not have the means, they are not compelled to finance any particular level of mental health services, as long as the decision is a mutual one, between all funding counties.
I also recognize that a likely requirement of a the State 9:1 matching funds may be a yearly "guaranteed" county match appropriation, that becomes a "required local match" for the mental health authority when it contracts with the state to receive the state matching funds for the next fiscal year. Given the state's interest in avoiding local fraud while promoting a viable community mental health program, it may be that mutual county quarterly budget amendments cannot be made. With no knowledge or understanding of the details of such business, I assume there are others, with far better credentials than mine, with the responsibility to explain the specific rules, based on legitimate factual information, to those county officials who want know how to spend my tax money in a more responsible manner.
I recognize the possibility and likelihood that other legislated or contractual funding obligations may exist, elsewhere, but none were quoted by Director Harma while he enjoyed toying with the commissioners at that audit and finance meeting of 03/25/04.
My perspective, restated, is:
If the several counties represented by H.B.H. choose to fund the community mental health facilities and services at a lower level, agreed to by all participating counties, then they will not be able to collect the 9:1 matching grant money from the state, only for the amount reduced in the counties' local matching funds appropriations on which the amount of State money is determined.
To the best of my knowledge, in Act 258, and the 1997 contract that formed the mental health authority, no county mandated funding exists. No part of the legislation quoted below or the contract, states or infers, in any clear language, that participating counties must maintain any specific level of funding beyond what they choose. At its own risk, within the terms of the contract creating the community mental health authority, H.B.H. may incur any financial obligation beyond that which the counties choose to fund, each year.
The legislation is quite clear, in Sec. 308 (b), that county funding
"...shall not exceed the amount of funds provided by the county or counties as county match in fiscal year 1994-1995 or the year the authority is created, whichever is greater."
It says nothing about minimum funding, or frozen funding, and other parts of the legislation express procedures and concepts that imply a clear understanding that funding will fluctuate.
Among other things, Act 258 provides the legal basis for counties and the state to provide funding for mental health authorities. Based on my comprehension of what I read, the quoted legislation forces no community mental health authority to spend any amount of money beyond what the funding participants mutually agree to appropriate in their respective budgets. The Act provides no basis for any argument that community mental health clients' demands for services, or a mental health authority, will dictate government participants' appropriations for mental health, whether those demands for increased funding come from the counties' residents or the Director of Hiawatha Behavioral Health.
Maybe, the inducement of 9:1 matching State to County funds, and the political influence that the control of such wealth provides, might cloud the judgement of those striving to maintain certain levels of participant counties' mental health authority appropriations. Perhaps, the mental health authority board of directors and the H.B.H. Director's judgment is clouded by an overzealous H.B.H. policy to pursue, aggressively, any and all policies that can be construed, correctly or otherwise, to the benefit of H.B.H. clients, employees and board members, with limited concerns for those that pay the bills.
As I understand the state's 9:1 matching funds offer, the substantial grant money inducement, if accepted, requires a local match consistent with the extent of the accepted offer. Only got a dollar? It buys $9. Got $30,000? It buys $270,000. No community mental health services program, or authority, is compelled to buy any more matching funds than it can afford. To the best of my knowledge, within the context of contractual terms, there is no legal requirement for the counties to purchase any grant money. Common sense infers that any argument to the contrary is false. If you don't have it, you can't spend it.
Perhaps, once again, my perspective is distorted by a pervasive awareness that various movers and shakers in Schoolcraft County are cannibals, dining in a variety of subtle and obvious ways, on pieces of my life lost to acquiring tax revenue to fund a moveable feast for them, and their supporters.
Until someone shows me, or refers me to a substantiated claim to legislated mandated levels of community mental health funding, I will consider H.B.H. Director Harma's 03/25/04 claim of such to be an exercise of deliberate deceit to coerce, with threats of expensive legal repercussions, the ignorant Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners into restoring justified community mental health appropriation cuts, that could be made, easily, with the agreement of other participant counties.
Due to the apparently deceptive and aggressive nature of Director Harma's response to Schoolcraft County's intended cuts that he was made aware of in October of 2003, it may be too late for the three counties to agree upon a new level of appropriation that could be made effective in this year, but, if H.B.H. cannot collect State funds on credit, or on the combined counties' annual budgetary "promises" to pay a specific amount, then I reason that the counties may set any level they choose, in any future budgetary quarter.
Without knowing all the rules of Director Harma's game, I have plenty of germane reasons to challenge his vague premise that H.B.H. funding is immutable. His claim, in its public business context, is typical of how many local "public" servants, professional and amateur, associated with Schoolcraft County government related business, choose to achieve their ends by less than appropriate and ethical means.
At 5 PM, 03/05/04, I attended a meeting of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners Legislative and Natural Resource Committee meeting, at Sault Ste. Marie, concerning their agenda item 1. "Discussion of Mental Health Service with Mark Kielhorn of MDH".
A 2002 MDH web site document identifies:
Legal Compliance Officer
Michigan Dept. of Community Health.
320 S. Walnut Lewis Cass Building,
1st floor Lansing, MI 48913
According to Mark Kielhorn, i.a.w. Act 258, 330.1308, Financial liability of state; Schoolcraft County has a mental health funding appropriation obligation of $70,000 each year, forever. He claimed his position was supported by Act 263, sect. 330.1308 Financial liability of state. After his presentation, concerning the propriety of the H.B.H. stance that Schoolcraft County was bound to pay $70,000 annually, I was just as ignorant as I was before he started. He referred to parts of the documents I include, giving them meaning, with no explanation, that contradicted any reasonable interpretation of the language that I could imagine.
At no time did Mark Kielhorn refer to the counties' obligations under Act 258, 330.1302, Financial liability of county.
03/08/04, After several more reading and thinking periods concerning the legislation Mark Kielhorn referred to, I am like the child who still fails to see the "emperor's new clothes". I still fail to comprehend Mark Kielhorn's interpretation and reasoning derived from the written legislation to which he referred. Based on the premise that Mark Kielhorn's explanation is correct, I conclude that there are some arcane definitions, semantics, and processes of logic, in the written legislation, that I fail to grasp, that no one has been willing to identify.
Based on the premise that Mark Kielhorn's explanation is incorrect, I intend to pursue the matter until I understand the position of his and Harma's, assuming it is rational. Given the evasion concerning this subject, over "several" years, I have no reason to believe that anyone else understands the reasoning process "explained" by Mark Kielhorn. At the moment, it is my opinion that both Mark Kielhorn and Sam Harma would be dead, if their lives depended upon making a rational argument for their mutual position to convince educated "others", with no vested interest in the outcome, of their respective positions, relative to the legislation to which Mark Kielhorn referred.
All that H.B.H. Board member and Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Lindsley Frenette, asked of Mark Kielhorn was, essentially, "Does Schoolcraft County owe H.B.H. $70,000, each year?" Kielhorn said, "Yes".
According to Mark Kielhorn, there is no prudent local control of H.B.H. beyond that of the authority's board. According to him, if the authority was dissolved, the respective counties would still owe their respective mental health agencies, $70,000 per year, or more, "forever".
The H.B.H. community mental health authority is the equivalent of a corporate entity, funded with public money, overseen by a board that has vested interests in business as usual. If the board members are bankrupt of ethics or clue-less, H.B.H. is beyond the control of anyone, unless legal action, based on a major criminal act or tort, can be brought to bear.
There are very few local government processes that cannot be controlled by purse strings, at the local level. According to all those I have heard from, to date, this appears to be one of those very few. The corporate entity structure also appears to insulate a mental health authority from the "petty" concerns of ex-county employee, Schoolcraft County Public Transit driver, Ron Risdon, fired for unspecified cause related to Hiawatha Behavioral Health, another subject I discussed with Mr. Kielhorn, at the meeting.
This evening, I attended the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners Audit and Finance Committee meeting. Among other business considered was the payment of the $30,000 that Schoolcraft County had cut, unilaterally and inappropriately, from its $70,000 appropriation commitment to the tri-county H.B.H. community mental health authority. While asking that the $30,000 cut be paid, Commissioner Frennette referred to, and waved around Mark Kielhorn's provided reference to the sanctity of the $70,000 figure; the apparently irrelevant legislated Financial liability of state.
Chairman Frenette stated, in so many words, that he did not care if he did not understand why the $70,000 was an annual mandatory appropriation, because the reference he waved around, provided by Mark Kielhorn at the 04/05/04 meeting, provided all the understanding he needed.
I marvelled at his vague and apparently clue-less presentation. It appeared, to me, to be substantiated by Mark Kielhorn's reference that had little to no relevance to any expressed concerns, or claims of mandatory and immutable tri-county funding.
At the public comment period, after the major business of the evening had been taken care of, I spoke up, regarding the matter of the Schoolcraft County's "mandatory" $70,000 annual appropriation to H.B.H. I pointed out that Commissioner Erickson had attended the same meeting as I had, and did not understand Mark Kielhorn's claims. I pointed out that Chairman Frenette had just admitted that he "didn't understand, and didn't care". I pointed out that Commissioner Aldrich, an early H.B.H. authority board member, and Commissioner McKinney, a current employee of H.B.H., had provided no comprehendible justification for the claimed fixed annual appropriation from the three counties that funded the H.B.H. community mental health authority. I pointed out that H.B.H. Executive Director Harma had failed to provide a cogent reason why the tri-county annual appropriation was immutable. I pointed out that, over the last 4 years, some $280,000 dollars had been budgeted and spent, by Schoolcraft County alone, with no obvious understanding by those appropriating the county tax money, as to why the amount could not be changed.
I then suggested that a legal opinion be requested from the State Attorney General, as to why the tri-county funding level could not be modified without incurring substantial financial liabilities for the respective funding counties.
No one chose to comment, regarding my expressed concerns.
After the close of the meeting, Chairmen Frenette made a loud and unsubstantiated verbal claim, in my direction, that it was understood, as some kind of verbal agreement between the three counties, that the $70,000 "forever" amount, was agreed upon as part of the creation of the authority. I stated, as loudly, in so many words that, such a verbal agreement was no part of any document that I was aware of.
As the commissioners and public wandered out of the conference room, Commissioner McKinney attempted to explain the claimed and constant annual tri-county funding requirement, referring to documentation I have never seen. I told him that if he had documents that, in the context of documentation I am aware of, defined the desirable unchangeable nature of the 1997 funding level, I would be grateful to read them. I told him that, as far as I am concerned, I am aware of nothing more than verbal claims, by those representing H.B.H. interests, for constant unchangeable funding.
Yesterday evening, I attended the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting at the Schoolcraft County Courthouse. One of the agenda items was a short presentation by Lisa Hinkson, Deputy Director? of H.B.H. She informed the County Board that the ~$2.5 million H.B.H. fund balance was set aside for specific costs, such as self insurance, unknown and unforseen mandatory client service expenses, employee benefits, etc.; none of it discretionary. She also told the County Board that the language of the Mental Health Code leaves no doubt as to Schoolcraft County's financial liability to the H.B.H. mental health authority.
After Ms. Hinkson's presentation, the Board discussed, or members made statements, regarding past and current concerns surrounding H.B.H. funding.
County Board Chairman and H.B.H. Board of Directors member, Lindsley Frenette, spoke in support of H.B.H.'s position, and stated that the unchangeable $70,000 county appropriation "freeze" was justified, though he referred to no document of authority. He stated that, to the best of his knowledge, no minutes exist that recorded any commitment by Schoolcraft County to provide the $70,000 annual appropriation that he and the executives of H.B.H. assert that Schoolcraft County is bound, by law, to produce, each year. No one spoke of why the $70,000 dollar figure was not included in any documents referred to.
Schoolcraft County Commissioner, and H.B.H. employee, Dan McKinney, stated that he would not speak of the funding issue, as he was employed by H.B.H. He did convey to me, as I listened to several of his following comments, his desire to voice, in candid terms, a pro H.B.H. position regarding the funding issue.
What relevance his employment had to do with discussing the merits of H.B.H.'s claim was lost to me. That his wages are paid, in part, by the county appropriation, should preclude him from voting on the H.B.H. appropriation. His employment by H.B.H. would not, and should not, stop him from representing and speaking of the general public's interest in any and all budget appropriations.
Regardless, the lack of any substantiated, believable, and comprehendible contract details to justify the H.B.H's "frozen" $70,000 demand, by any executive employee of Hiawatha Behavioral Health, indicates to me that no one with the responsibility to be accountable to the public choose to do so.
From my perspective, the rules of those that practice confidence games and extortion hold sway; a philosophy of public service that is well established in Schoolcraft County.
MENTAL HEALTH CODE Act 258 of 1974 CHAPTER 3 STATE AND COUNTY FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 330.1300 Repealed. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996. Compiler's Note: The repealed section pertained to definitions. © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1302 Financial liability of county. Sec. 302. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in subsection (2), a county is financially liable for 10% of the net cost of any service that is provided by the department, directly or by contract, to a resident of that county. (2) This section does not apply to the following: (a) Family support subsidies established under section 156. (b) A service provided to any of the following: (i) An individual under a criminal sentence to a state prison. (ii) A criminal defendant determined incompetent to stand trial under section 1032. (iii) An individual acquitted of a criminal charge by reason of insanity, during the initial 60-day period of evaluation provided for in section 1050. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1983, Act 249, Imd. Eff. Dec. 15, 1983 ;--Am. 1985, Act 77, Imd. Eff. July 5, 1985 ;--Am. 1986, Act 265, Imd. Eff. Dec. 9, 1986 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 ;--Am. 1996, Act 588, Imd. Eff. Jan. 21, 1997 . Compiler's Note: Section 2 of Act 249 of 1983 provides: “This amendatory act shall take effect January l, 1984, for the purpose of promulgating rules pursuant to section 157, and July l, 1984, for the purpose of accepting written application.” © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1304 Meaning of “net cost” in § 330.1302. Sec. 304. For the purpose of section 302, net cost means: the operating cost of providing the service to the individual minus that part of operating cost paid for by federal and private funds and minus that amount received by the state as reimbursement from those persons and insurers who are financially liable for the cost of such service. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1306 Determining individual's county of residence; denial or delay of services prohibited. Sec. 306. (1) For the purpose of section 302, an individual's county of residence is the county in which the individual maintained his or her primary place of residence at the time he or she entered 1 of the following: (a) A dependent living setting. (b) A boarding school. © A facility. (2) A community mental health services program shall not deny or delay requested services to an individual for the reason that the individual's county of residence, as determined by this section, is in the service area of another community mental health services program. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1307 Financial responsibility for services to individual; transfer from one county to another. Sec. 307. Financial responsibility for services to an individual whose county of residence has been determined under section 306 may be transferred from 1 county to another if both community mental health services programs, the individual or his or her plenary guardian, if applicable, and the department agree to the transfer. If a transfer is made pursuant to this section, the department shall transfer from the original county of residence to the new county of residence 100% of the cost of the services agreed upon by both community mental health services programs. County matching funds are not required for services to an individual whose county of residence has been transferred under this section. History: Add. 1993, Act 253, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1308 Financial liability of state. Sec. 308. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and subsections (2) and (3), and subject to the constraint of funds actually appropriated by the legislature for such purpose, the state shall pay 90% of the annual net cost of a community mental health services program that is established and administered in accordance with chapter 2. (2) Beginning in the fiscal year after a community mental health services program becomes a community mental health authority under section 205, if the department increases the amount of state funds provided to community mental health services programs for the fiscal year, all of the following apply: (a) The amount of local match required of a community mental health authority for that fiscal year (any fiscal year after that during which was formed the mental health authority) shall not exceed the amount of funds provided by the community mental health services program as local match in the year in which the program became a community mental health authority. (b) Subject to the constraint of funds actually appropriated by the county or county board of commissioners, the amount of county match required of a county or counties that have created a community mental health authority shall not exceed the amount of funds provided by the county or counties as county match in fiscal year 1994-1995 or the year the authority is created, whichever is greater. (c) If the local match provided by the community mental health services program is less than the level of local match provided in the year in which the community mental health services program became a community mental health authority, subdivision (a) does not apply. (If (a) doesn't apply, then it is as if (a) does not exist) (d) The state is not obligated to provide additional state funds because of the limitation on local funding levels provided for in subdivisions (a) and (b). (3) The state shall pay the family support subsidies established under section 156. (4) If 2 or more existing community mental health services programs merge pursuant to section 219, the state shall pay 100% of administrative costs approved by the department for the newly created community mental health services program for 3 years after the date of merger. (5) If a county demonstrates an inability to meet its local match obligation due to financial hardship, the department may do either of the following: (a) Accept a joint plan of correction from the county and its community mental health services program that ensures full payment over an extended period of time. (b) Waive a portion of the county's obligation based on hardship criteria established by the department. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1983, Act 249, Imd. Eff. Dec. 15, 1983 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . Compiler's Note: Section 2 of Act 249 of 1983 provides: “This amendatory act shall take effect January 1, 1984, for the purpose of promulgating rules pursuant to section 157, and July 1, 1984, for the purpose of accepting written application.” © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1309 Specialized residential service; payment of costs by state; conditions. Sec. 309. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, and subject to the constraint of funds actually appropriated by the legislature, the state shall pay all of the costs of a specialized residential service that are eligible for state financial support and approved by the department and that are not otherwise paid for by federal funds, state funds, or reimbursements from persons and insurers who are financially liable for the cost of services, and that meet all of the following conditions: (a) The service is established and administered under the authority of the board of the community mental health services program and in accordance with chapter 2. (b) The service did not exist as part of the community mental health services program before March 31, 1981. © The service is approved by the department and operated in conformance with departmental policies and guidelines governing specialized residential programs. History: Add. 1980, Act 423, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981 ;--Am. 1984, Act 107, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1984 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1310 “Net cost” defined for purpose of § 330.1308. Sec. 310. For the purpose of section 308, “net cost” means: (a) For a community mental health services program expenditures eligible for state financial support and approved by the department that are not otherwise paid for by federal funds, state funds, or reimbursements from persons and insurers who are financially liable for the cost of services. (b) Except as provided in subdivision (a), the total of all community mental health services program expenditures eligible for state financial support and approved by the department that are not otherwise paid for by federal funds or state funds. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1980, Act 423, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1311 Approval of budget for boards creating special fund account; county funding. Sec. 311. For those county community mental health boards that choose to create a special fund account pursuant to section 226a, the department shall not approve a budget under section 232 unless county funding for community mental health programs is provided at a dollar level at least equal to that made available to the county community mental health board by the county board of commissioners in the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980. History: Add. 1980, Act 423, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1312 Method of county cost sharing. Sec. 312. If a community mental health services program represents 2 or more counties, the amount of county funds necessary to support the program shall be paid by each county in proportion to its population, except that, with the consent of each county's board of commissioners, a different method of county cost sharing may be utilized. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1313 Rental payments for property to be used as residential setting for specialized community residential care. Sec. 313. The department shall establish a procedure to assure that rental payments for all property which is to be used as a residential setting for specialized community residential care, be based upon an independent appraisal of fair market rental value. In cases where the department or a community mental health board desires to enter into a lease or rental arrangement for a community residential facility at a rate above the independently appraised fair market rental value, an approval process involving the department of management and budget shall determine the contracted rental payment amount. History: Add. 1980, Act 423, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1314 County's annual appropriation; method of making. Sec. 314. In each county having a community mental health services program, the county's annual appropriation for the cost of services provided by the state and for the county's cost of supporting the community mental health services program shall be made as a single appropriation to the board of the community mental health services program. The county's annual single appropriation may be made by line item. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1316 Expenditure of county's tax funds. Sec. 316. The expenditure of a county's tax funds to pay for services provided by the state or to pay the county's cost of supporting a community mental health services program may be made from the county's general tax fund or from the proceeds of a special tax established for such purpose. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1318 Repealed. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996. Compiler's Note: The repealed section pertained to transition of financial responsibility. © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1320 Allocation of available local funds. Sec. 320. Nothing in this chapter prevents a community mental health services program from allocating available local funds in excess of the required local match. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1226 Board; powers and duties; appointment of executive director. Sec. 226. (1) The board of a community mental health services program shall do all of the following: (a) Annually conduct a needs assessment to determine the mental health needs of the residents of the county or counties it represents and identify public and nonpublic services necessary to meet those needs. Information and data concerning the mental health needs of individuals with developmental disability, serious mental illness, and serious emotional disturbance shall be reported to the department in accordance with procedures and at a time established by the department, along with plans to meet identified needs. It is the responsibility of the community mental health services program to involve the public and private providers of mental health services located in the county or counties served by the community mental health program in this assessment and service identification process. The needs assessment shall include information gathered from all appropriate sources, including community mental health waiting list data and school districts providing special education services. (b) Annually review and submit to the department a needs assessment report, annual plan, and request for new funds for the community mental health services program. The standard format and documentation of the needs assessment, annual plan, and request for new funds shall be specified by the department. © In the case of a county community mental health agency, obtain approval of its needs assessment, annual plan and budget, and request for new funds from the board of commissioners of each participating county before submission of the plan to the department. In the case of a community mental health organization, provide a copy of its needs assessment, annual plan, request for new funds, and any other document specified in accordance with the terms and conditions of the organization's inter-local agreement to the board of commissioners of each county creating the organization. In the case of a community mental health authority, provide a copy of its needs assessment, annual plan, and request for new funds to the board of commissioners of each county creating the authority. (d) Submit the needs assessment, annual plan, and request for new funds to the department by the date specified by the department. The submission constitutes the community mental health services program's official application for new state funds. (e) Provide and advertise a public hearing on the needs assessment, annual plan, and request for new funds before providing them to the county board of commissioners. (f) Submit to each board of commissioners for their approval an annual request for county funds to support the program. The request shall be in the form and at the time determined by the board or boards of commissioners. (g) Annually approve the community mental health services program's operating budget for the year. (h) Take those actions it considers necessary and appropriate to secure private, federal, and other public funds to help support the community mental health services program. (i) Approve and authorize all contracts for the provision of services. (j) Review and evaluate the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of services being provided by the community mental health services program. The board shall identify specific performance criteria and standards to be used in the review and evaluation. These shall be in writing and available for public inspection upon request. (k) Subject to subsection (3), appoint an executive director of the community mental health services program who meets the standards of training and experience established by the department. (l) Establish general policy guidelines within which the executive director shall execute the community mental health services program. (m) Require the executive director to select a physician, a registered professional nurse with a specialty certification issued under section 17210 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17210, or a licensed psychologist to advise the executive director on treatment issues. (2) A community mental health services program may do all of the following: (a) Establish demonstration projects allowing the executive director to do 1 or both of the following: (i) Issue a voucher to a recipient in accordance with the recipient's plan of services developed by the community mental health services program. (ii) Provide funding for the purpose of establishing revolving loans to assist recipients of public mental health services to acquire or maintain affordable housing. Funding under this subparagraph shall only be provided through an agreement with a nonprofit fiduciary. (b) Carry forward any surplus of revenue over expenditures under a capitated managed care system. Capitated payments under a managed care system are not subject to cost settlement provisions of section 236. © Carry forward the operating margin up to 5% of the community mental health services program's state share of the operating budget for the fiscal years ending September 30, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. As used in this subdivision, “operating margin” means the excess of state revenue over state expenditures for a single fiscal year exclusive of capitated payments under a managed care system. In the case of a community mental health authority, this carryforward is in addition to the reserve accounts described in section 205(4)(h). (d) Pursue, develop, and establish partnerships with private individuals or organizations to provide mental health services. (e) Share the costs or risks, or both, of managing and providing publicly funded mental health services with other community mental health services programs through participation in risk pooling arrangements, reinsurance agreements, and other joint or cooperative arrangements as permitted by law. (3) In the case of a county community mental health agency, the initial appointment by the board of an individual as executive director is effective unless rejected by a 2/3 vote of the county board of commissioners within 15 calendar days. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1986, Act 149, Imd. Eff. July 2, 1986 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 ;--Am. 1996, Act 588, Imd. Eff. Jan. 21, 1997 ;--Am. 1998, Act 417, Imd. Eff. Dec. 22, 1998 ;--Am. 2000, Act 273, Imd. Eff. July 7, 2000 ;--Am. 2002, Act 595, Imd. Eff. Oct. 17, 2002 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1232 Services program; review of annual plan, needs assessment, request for funds, annual contract, and budget; eligibility for state support; allocation of funds. Sec. 232. The department shall review each community mental health services program's annual plan, needs assessment, request for funds, annual contract, and operating budget and approve or disapprove state funding in whole or in part. Eligibility for state financial support shall be contingent upon an approved contract and operating budget and certification in accordance with section 232a. Prior to the beginning of each state fiscal year, the department shall allocate state appropriated funds to the community mental health service programs in accordance with the approved contracts and budgets. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1206 Community mental health services program; purpose; services. Sec. 206. (1) The purpose of a community mental health services program shall be to provide a comprehensive array of mental health services appropriate to conditions of individuals who are located within its geographic service area, regardless of an individual's ability to pay. The array of mental health services shall include, at a minimum, all of the following: (a) Crisis stabilization and response including a 24-hour, 7-day per week, crisis emergency service that is prepared to respond to persons experiencing acute emotional, behavioral, or social dysfunctions, and the provision of inpatient or other protective environment for treatment. (b) Identification, assessment, and diagnosis to determine the specific needs of the recipient and to develop an individual plan of services. (c) Planning, linking, coordinating, follow-up, and monitoring to assist the recipient in gaining access to services. (d) Specialized mental health recipient training, treatment, and support, including therapeutic clinical interactions, socialization and adaptive skill and coping skill training, health and rehabilitative services, and pre-vocational and vocational services. (e) Recipient rights services. (f) Mental health advocacy. (g) Prevention activities that serve to inform and educate with the intent of reducing the risk of severe recipient dysfunction. (h) Any other service approved by the department. (2) Services shall promote the best interests of the individual and shall be designed to increase independence, improve quality of life, and support community integration and inclusion. Services for children and families shall promote the best interests of the individual receiving services and shall be designed to strengthen and preserve the family unit if appropriate. The community mental health services program shall deliver services in a manner that demonstrates they are based upon recipient choice and involvement, and shall include wraparound services when appropriate. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . Admin Rule: R 330.1001 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code. © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan 330.1232 Services program; review of annual plan, needs assessment, request for funds, annual contract, and budget; eligibility for state support; allocation of funds. Sec. 232. The department shall review each community mental health services program's annual plan, needs assessment, request for funds, annual contract, and operating budget and approve or disapprove state funding in whole or in part. Eligibility for state financial support shall be contingent upon an approved contract and operating budget and certification in accordance with section 232a. Prior to the beginning of each state fiscal year, the department shall allocate state appropriated funds to the community mental health service programs in accordance with the approved contracts and budgets. History: 1974, Act 258, Eff. Aug. 6, 1975 ;--Am. 1995, Act 290, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 . © 2004 Legislative Council, State of Michigan