The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met for a special session to once again discuss the situation regarding the Mid-Iowa Behavioral Health Region Monday morning.
This meeting was called because of a special guest. Charles Palmer, who is the Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, wanted to meet face-to-face with the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors, as well as their Marion County counterparts, to help clear the air on the process and discuss the options that the counties have.
A couple of months ago, Mahaska and Marion Counties were informed that they could no longer operate as a two-county region in the mental health field. Mahaska County has recently decided to go through with an appeal of that decision.
Palmer stated in Monday’s meeting that he does not want it to be an adversarial situation, and both parties could work together to make sure the people who are affected by these adjustments are taken care of in the best way possible.
Chair Mark Doland asked if Palmer was going to dictate which region that the county were to join should the appeal fail. Palmer said he had no interest in “match making,” but instead thought the counties should make that determination based on what they believe is the best fit.
Supervisor Mike VanderMolen asked if the two-county region was ever going to be considered as a full region past the two-year period after Poweshiek and Jasper left for the region to the north. Palmer said that there were no issues with that, but felt it was best for the counties to make a move to a larger region.
VanderMolen also asked if there were any issues should the appeal go past the November 1st deadline. That deadline was set as the date Mahaska County needed to be with another region. Palmer said that he would work with the county in that regard.
The appeal is scheduled to be heard later this month.
The next scheduled meeting of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors is next Monday, August 17th, at the Mahaska County Courthouse in Oskaloosa. The meeting will be called to order at 9 AM.