This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New River Behavioral Hole Gets Deeper

 Jefferson Post

21 comments:

inquiring mind said...

They are beginning to eat their own as the old saying goes. Just talked with a reporter that will be issuing a report of a conversation with Smoky Mountain Center. SMC is saying that the counties had fiduciary responsibility to get copies of the financial reports and monitor such. No kidding!

Johnny Rico said...

Give em hell inquiring mind. Don't let them off the hook. They are using and stealing OUR money. If it were there own money, they wouldn't have stolen it in this manner.

Johnny Rico said...

Blogger,

I kept clicking because nothing was happening and then, all of a sudden, there were ten posts. Not intentional.

Anonymous said...

http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/News/story/New-River-debt-could-exceed-7-million-id-006266

inquiring mind said...

IM attended the NRSA board meeting today at noon. And, IM has to now say that the assessment of Smoky Mountain Center was incorrect. SMC was very helpful in explaining the role of an LME (Local Management Entity). As it turns out LMEs do not manage providers like NRSA; they actually manage State funds that are allocated to providers like NRSA. NRSA had to make reports to SMC and SMC made sure that NRSA complied with the regulations regarding State mental health funding. With that said, and sitting in on an interview with the Watauga Democrat, SMC and Daymark, it became apparent that Daymark and SMC are actually the only people that have a real good handle on the situation and what the priorities should be. Daymark and SMC were very patient and stuck around for over 4 hours waiting to be heard regarding a very important issue - medical records. We overheard the SMC representative tell an NRSA board representative that they were going to have to leave and asked them if there was anyway they could hear them ASAP. The NRSA board did not hear them and they left. Then the board came back into session and appointed an interim CEO, interim finance officer, interim IT person, interim assistant to the CEO and an interim records officer. It was obvious when the interim CEO addressed the board about SMC's concern regarding the medical records that NRSA employees and board members were having a petty power struggle with SMC. While SMC and Daymark were most concerned, according to their interview, with continuity and quality of mental health services, NRSA and county managers and interim employees seemed more concerned with the business as usual - sticking their heads in the sand. SMC and Daymark brought a medical records expert with them to make a presentation to the board with a plan for transition and to discuss important regulations regarding such and the urgency for a transitioning of the records by Nov 1. TO BE CONTINUED

inquiring mind said...

PART II

Daymark and SMC were explaining to the Watauga Democrat reporter that mental health patients often times do not remember when they had the last shot or what medicine that they are taking. The interim NRSA records’ manager was sitting in on the interview as well. And, while the interim CEO and interim records manager were eager to tell the NRSA board that SMC said that they needed a records transition plan by midnight tonight, she didn't tell the board why (they both made it clear that there was power struggle in play; like kids on a playground – they’re trying to take my candy). Then Commissioner Miller, said: "What are they going to do, turn us in again." That tells us that SMC has reported NRSA to somebody (doing their job most likely while others stood by and let us down). Then at least 2 other county managers piped up and complained that this was the first that they heard of it. However, the interim CEO and interim records manager had been working with SMC for at least a week to 10 days on the issue (NRSA and county managers want to blame SMC for the communication breakdown while it is the same communication breakdown amount themselves that has plagued them from day one that has put the taxpayers in the position they have - $5.7 million in liabilities and mounting). And, how clueless can you be? They kept SMC and Daymark sitting around all day waiting to talk to them about this issue (they had a plan to discuss with them) and they didn't have the common courtesy to hear them. They try to act like they have a handle on things when in fact they are the same ole people with the same ole problem – incompetence! That's right, put us in a position for a more law suits (they went into close session to discuss personnel and pending litigation).

inquiring mind said...

PART II

Daymark and SMC were explaining to the Watauga Democrat reporter that mental health patients often times do not remember when they had the last shot or what medicine that they are taking. The interim NRSA records’ manager was sitting in on the interview as well. And, while the interim CEO and interim records manager were eager to tell the NRSA board that SMC said that they needed a records transition plan by midnight tonight, she didn't tell the board why (they both made it clear that there was power struggle in play; like kids on a playground – they’re trying to take my candy). Then Commissioner Miller, said: "What are they going to do, turn us in again." That tells us that SMC has reported NRSA to somebody (doing their job most likely while others stood by and let us down). Then at least 2 other county managers piped up and complained that this was the first that they heard of it. However, the interim CEO and interim records manager had been working with SMC for at least a week to 10 days on the issue (NRSA and county managers want to blame SMC for the communication breakdown while it is the same communication breakdown amount themselves that has plagued them from day one that has put the taxpayers in the position they have - $5.7 million in liabilities and mounting). And, how clueless can you be? They kept SMC and Daymark sitting around all day waiting to talk to them about this issue (they had a plan to discuss with them) and they didn't have the common courtesy to hear them. They try to act like they have a handle on things when in fact they are the same ole people with the same ole problem – incompetence! That's right, put us in a position for a more law suits (they went into close session to discuss personnel and pending litigation).

inquiring mind said...

PART III

While the NRSA board was in closed session, the minute books for NRSA were provided to me to review. They asked me to mark the pages I wanted; I ended up asking for over all of them (over 1000 pages). As it turns out, they have been running in the red since they started and they have been so dysfunctional OMG! Then I heard sat and listened in on a conference call with Ann Wilson, a finance consultant (CPA) that had been determining the liability. Put her comments with the minutes and there is one word to describe it DYSFUNCTIONAL! The NRSA board which is now made up of county commissioners is made up of a bunch of reckless incompetent political posturing pious so-called public servants who took an oath to uphold the NC State Constitution and the laws of the NC State; add their side-kick county managers, the same ones that allowed things to get to where they are by not monitoring the potential liability of the entity along with the county finance directors and you have real side show. And, the interim employees, they are posturing for permanent employment with Daymark (hopefully Daymark can see that is not necessarily the best idea; wished they could have stayed around to see the playground antics.

inquiring mind said...

PART IV

We desperately need the State to come in, Trustee the assets and we need for the State to appoint an LME to be the transition team, the sooner the better. And, Ann Wilson, the financial consultant, she needs to be appointed over the finances.
It is worse than we thought! And, just think, the same people (or type of people) and oversight are responsible for our county finances and the other 4 counties.
One comment I remembered in the NRSA board minutes showed just how incompetent and reckless the NRSA board was. After several meetings where the finance director brought it to the attention of the NRSA board that their loans were out of compliance with the Local Government Commission (ie out of compliance with the NC General Statutes), and NRSA board minutes states: “A copy of the application (LGC Loan Application) was provided in each member’s packet. This application is what any public organization is required to fill out and submit to the LGC for their approval before a loan being taken out can be approved by them. A public agency must gain approval from the LGC before taking on indebtedness. This is the reason given by the LGC as to NR’s non-compliance; not the rate of the loan NR had before refinancing. Ms. Andrews (CEO) asked for direction from the board as to how to pursue this matter. In order to gain compliance, NR would have to complete this application and fulfill all the other requirements of getting this loan, which NR already has, approved by the LGC. In light of funding that might be approved by SMC, Ms. Mayo (finance director) still recommends going ahead and paying off the loan with Wachovia. The pay-off amount is $486,869. The board’s consensus was that since NR is already out of compliance, and has been for a length of time, to go ahead and wait until more news is available from SMC as to the supplemental funds request.” (The NRSA board just didn’t get it; regardless of SMC funds or not, they were going to have to come into compliance. This attitude is reminiscent of what Commissioner Miller said in response to the County being out of compliance with generally accepted account practices (another NC General Statute): “Why does it matter. This is a financial statement for a government entity.” That’s right – Why does it matter? Well, why do we pretend to hire all of these finance officers, engage expensive auditors and build these oversight bureaucracies that are subject to these laws? And, we wonder how NRSA is where it is today. You ain’t got to go too far from the tree to find the rotten apples.

inquiring mind said...

PART V

And, Commissioner Miller seems to think that if SMC has any idea of turning the NRSA in for abandonment of records that they have the media and others there to stand by them - THINK AGAIN! While you may not be guilty of abandonment you have demonstrated reckless disregard for due diligence in transferring the records in a timely manner - worse than abandonment.

inquiring mind said...

PART VI

The minutes from 2007 to-date show that there were regular finance updates and a finance committee. Why did the commissioner board members not bring this information back to the counties which they represented. Watauga County thinks because the finance director didn't pre-audit the interlocal agreement that they are not responsible for any liabilities.This is an agreement between governmental entities - not a private sector and governmental entity. Your argument doesn't hold water. And, the lack of a pre-audit may be the reason the county finance directors and county auditors didn't monitor the NRSA finances and now look at the position you have placed the taxpayers. Who failed to have the finance director read and pre-audit the interlocal agreement in Watauga County? That has happened before. Let me see. Oh. That's right. I made a public records request for a contract once and it was pre-audited the same day that I came to inspect it- months after it was entered into. Just like not reading the agency agreement and lease between the County and the Board of Education. What a bunch of incompetent reckless so-called professionals! Oh! That's right Commissioner Miller, you did say that professionals make mistakes. Actually everybody makes mistakes; the pudding in how you address them and learn from them. You guys are slow learners.

inquiring mind said...

Even though we understand that the audited financial statements numbers ( are not correct - that's right, the auditors didn't even catch it (don't be surprised; we have found the same with our County and BOE audited financials), we are going to report the operating losses according to the financial statements for NRSA (and keep in mind that these numbers were discussed every month as they grew):

2008 Operating Loss reported as ($1,966,208)

2009
Operating Loss reported as ($1,040,132)

2010
Operating Loss reported as ($765,705)

So, how did they stay in business up til now? In 2008, the "fund balance" in the amount of $3,518,763 was transferred from the old entity "New River Behavioral Health Care" (not to be confused with the new entity New River Service Authority dba New River Behavioral Health Care). They have been living off of borrowed time. Once the fund balance ran out and funding dried up they just kept spending. They ignored the "writing on the wall".

They had even scheduled a 4% salary increase and had to backtrack. They didn't want to reduce employees because that meant reduction in revenues. They were missing something- cost of employees was outpacing revenue generation.

Ponzi scheme - isn't that what they call it? And who pays for it? the taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

As to the poor souls who may need psychiatric help and medicines, methinks that the actual unbalanced characters are on the governing boards, committees, and running the facilities.

How can you discern the patients from the delusional oversight groups?

inquiring mind said...

At this point I opt for them to measured for their new suits - orange of course.

Blogger said...

Inquiring Mind: "they are the same ole people with the same ole problem – incompetence!"

Yes, they even voted as their chair, Kenny Poteat, one of the original creators of this mess.

Also, they acted so imperious on their first meeting. They let the people who they would later be dealing with, sit around all day. They never even bothered to come out and let them know what was going on. They also never told them that they, the board, were having their lunch behind closed doors. Decent people, would have suggested to those waiting that they might want to go eat as they may be there some time.

They certainly know how to irritate people.

Blogger said...

For those who have not kept up with what is going on, the 160A was a socialist solution. The solution that everyone else in the state took was private enterprise.

Does it not boggle your mind that mountain commissioners chose socialism over capitalism? Now they are paying for it as they should.

Anonymous said...

No Blogger, it does not surprise me at all regarding mountain commissioners, especially in recent decades and even dating back further.

And you hit upon a major problem with society today. Whether you label these measures as soclalist or fascist, most of us would, and in fact have, sell or sold out capitalism or free enterprise for a supposed safety net, unnecesaary regulations, and higher taxation.

And as an unstable, belligerent 'democracy' is defined, when one section of society realizes they can vote themselves largess at the expense of others, they will do so. Or a better definition would be, two wolves and a lone sheep arguing over what's for dinner; hence, the old Bolsheviki class warfare trick.

As to the board having lunch behind closed doors while the public waited, I've seen our own BOC members eating snacks and refreshments in front of waiting taxpayers, who were paying for the treats. That kind of behavior, whether behind closed doors or in front of the public, especially within the last few years, is just bad form and insensitive, to say the very least.

inquiring mind said...

Blogger. While SMC and Daymark were waiting to meet with them about the most pressing issue of medical record transfer they were probably having lunch catered in. While the news media was interviewing SMC and Daymark (as usual Kellen Moore missed the mark) and IM was pouring over the minutes from 2007 through 2011, they were probably having a party on the taxpayers. Then they joined the rest of after recess in the playground to continue their playground antics. Sorry, the whole bunch needs to be tarred and feathered.

We probably need to privatize all county and BOE services, we would probably save a hunk of change not to mention increase the level of service and accountability.

inquiring mind said...

Blogger. I was stunned when I realized, after reading the NRSA minutes, that Commissioner Poteat was the Chairman of the newly formed NRSA board. That move in itself shows that they don't have a clue or better yet they do and think that keeping the status control will somehow protect them. However, we have news for them; we have your number!

IM has called for Watauga County Commissioners to pursue all bonds and personal liability before coming to the taxpayers for a bailout. And, that bond includes the County's own board appointed commissioner(s) and finance director as well as the same for every other County and the NRSA finance director and other bonded personnel.

After reading the minutes, IM has determined that this is a clear case of willful neglect! Not incompetence. They would like to claim incompetence; but, that isn't going to fly this time. They were pious enough to think that can say what ever they wanted (even have it documented in board minutes) and that it didn't matter. They are continuing along that same path. What was that Commissioner Miller said in response to the urgency of the medical records transfer: "What are they going to do, turn us in again?" And with the knowledge of this debacle, he responds to questions about the County's financial reporting with: "Why does it matter; this is a government financial statement?" NRSA was a government financial statement too and apparently it didn't matter up until it came to a point of no recovery and the liabilities just keep coming in.

I hope they like orange.

Anonymous said...

IM, you might be a little too optimistic re: color.

Knowing how government entities work nowadays, they will probably be promoted, given commendations and raises.

Blogger said...

IM quotes: "What are they going to do, turn us in again?"
IM are you suspecting they are talking about NR's LME which is Smoky Mountain? Do you think this means that Smoky Mountain has reported them before? From your description of the meeting and how the commissioners were reacting to Smoky, it sounds like panic CYAing to me.