A decade ago, Guilford County government reluctantly gave up a great deal of control regarding the way mental health and substance abuse services were being administered in the county.
The county turned most of those duties over to Sandhills Center – a multi-county behavioral health care administrative entity run out of West End, North Carolina, which is about an hour south of Greensboro if you speed.
Guilford County was forced to make the change – due to changes in state law – and the county did so very reluctantly. At the time, Guilford Center Director Billie Martin Pierce – who ran behavioral health services for the county – publicly voiced her concerns and retired soon after the change was announced. The $10 million in funds that previously went to the Guilford Center, began going to Sandhills instead, which took over those administrative duties.
A decade later, in a Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, work session of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the board wanted to know where the money was going and wanted to know exactly how that money was being used to benefit the county. Representatives of Sandhills were in the room and this is at a time when Guilford County wants more control of its behavioral health services due to a strong initiative meant to once and for all battle against homelessness in the county
The questions came as the Board of Commissioners began an in-depth discussion as to how to address the problem of mental health and substance abuse.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston opened the questions up: “We’ve been doing this for about 10 years now, with Sandhills, working with this collaboration and giving an average of right at $9.6 million [a year], What are the outcomes? What are we getting for that money for Guilford County citizens? “How are Guilford County citizens benefiting from that?
“When I see people sleeping on the streets,” Alston added, “I have all these questions,”
“Somebody’s got some money sitting out there that can address this problem,” a forceful Alston told the people in the Carolyn Q. Coleman Conference Room
“We have to solve this problem of homelessness,” Alston said.
County staff said that performance measures were being evaluated and Sandhills Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer Anthony Ward said that the county could spend the $9.6 million it controls in virtually any way it wanted.
Those funds, he said, are the “most flexible.”
“Whatever you want those county dollars to go for is what they will go for,” he said.
Other money coming in connected to programs like Medicaid, he said, had relatively tight rules on how the funds could be spent.
Let’s think for moment King skip has been a county commissioner for more years than Guilford County really has needed him but that said the homeless problem was here before he became a commissioner yet until a few months ago when skippy went downtown to see a concert he had never even acknowledged homeless existed. Now for whatever reason it’s a big issue (democrat vote buying, just like a chicken in every pot nick in the 30’s) skippy is on his high horse about homelessness. What a pile of horse crap he is.
You’re just lying today huh?? Do you have proof of the bs you just spewed?? Just scapegoating.
Nothing I said is a lie. Call skippy up and ask him, he’ll tell you about going to a concert and seeing homeless people sleeping under a bridge recently that’s his story not mine
And why would you expect the City Council, the Govt, to do anything well?
Perhaps the problem is that they City may not be able to “control” the money to their best political interest?
Baloney! Anytime these folks pretend to give a damn about a dollar, they have a pet project to fund. What about the millions that go to Earl & Skip’s lunch counter shrine? What about the countless hundreds of millions pissed away on a school system that has no accountability? Only an idiot could vote for a Democrat nowadays, and sadly, Republicans aren’t far behind ’em.
The question I have is what have we gotten for the 100 million we have sent them over these last 10 years? It seems rather unwise to not be getting an update on this kind of expenditure every year. Where else do we send 10 million a year and not have a plan snd review that plan every year to see if we are getting our money’s worth???
The electorate that voted for these dim Dems need some mental health assistance.
What electorate? An unbelievably small number of registered voters actually voted. This should be a concern for anyone who desires good governance. A small voter turnout assures the self-interested will continue to be elected. Term limits gives hope to those who desire an orderly change.
Denn is exactly right. The County is sending 10 million a year and hasn’t asked for an accounting of the expenditure, during which Skip has had control to do so. He will now have billions to control of school and county budget money to spend but I doubt he’ll ask for an accounting for that spending either, just as he’s not asked where the money has gone from the last few years of bond money. All the while the majority of voters keep funding stupid projects and those of us who vote this waste down are forced to pay our money to endless pits of hell. I’d like a bill that said if you vote for money spending you paid and if you voted against it you didn’t pay, which is far more equitable, don’t you think?
Biggest question for Skip is . . .where have you been on this from the time you took office? Is there not an annual accounting of the $10 million that funds this agency? Wonder how many “contracts” have been created which leads back to those in Guilford County with political connections? If it were me, I’d have a forensic audit with a nationalized reputable company, not a local one.
Well, it looks like the “reviewers” at the Rhino didn’t like my post, so they pulled it.
I questioned “why” after 10 years was Skip now asking for proof of what they did for Guilford County. Could it be this is a political issue as to determining where the 10 million went, and to whom?
Not all of what I post is published, either. Probably for good reason, or I may have taken a shot at one of the advertisers.
Are there any programs that use taxpayers money ever audited? (no) There is no accountability, neither how money is spent nor audited for results. So a skeptic like me, suspects people who approve expenditures personally benefit from those expenitures. Somebody is making a LOT of money making these decisions. And no one questions………