Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mill Levy Measure Fails, Supporters React

By Matt Kroschel

Mesa County- Supporters of Measure 3B, the mill levy override in Mesa County School District 51 raised over $50,000 and launched an aggressive campaign trying to drum up more tax dollars to help budget-strapped local schools, but it looks like their efforts were not enough.

Primary numbers show voters saying "no" to the increase in property taxes for schools. As of 10:00 PM Tuesday night, about 38% of voters voted in favor of measure 3B, and 62 voted no on the measure.

In related school district news, unofficial winners for the Mesa County School District 51 elections. For District A Director, it's Arvan Jeffry Leany, with around 60% of the votes. For District B Director, it is Ann Tisue, with just over 45% of the votes.

Shakeup at County Human Services Leaves Bad Taste in Employee's Mouth

4 Case Manager Resign In Last Month

By Matt Kroschel
Mesa County - Administrators with the Mesa County Department of Human Services want a brand new philosophy and an entirely new way of doing business, but not everyone agrees with the plan. Administrators with the Human Services Department say they will be more proactive in the way they deal with families in the county, but the changes are not without critics. In the last month, four of ten case managers have resigned.

NewsChannel 5 sat down with one former case manager who said she is leaving her job and feels things are not running the way they should be.

Monday was the last day Kelly Saint clocked in at her county case manager job, but she is not leaving on good terms. Her resignation comes on the heels of what she calls “ethical problems” within the department.

Saint has worked in her position for 15 years, and in that time she said there have been changes, but since April, the new plan has increased her workload to a level that she can’t continue to handle.

She claims, “Workers are being asked to put in 80 hours a week, or have to rush through the cases which could be horrible for the families we serve.”

But Jill Calvert, Mesa County Division Director of Child Services said despite some growing pains, the safety of the people they serve has not been jeopardized.

“We have had case workers training at new tasks. We are changing the way we do things from the inside out to better serve the public,” Calvert said.

“We are changing to be better and get in line with new state standards, and yes our case numbers have gone up and we are monitoring and dealing with that but have not seen any change in service or safety,” Calvert added.

Right now, there are three case manager positions they are trying to fill. It takes about three months of training once a new employee is hired before they can start taking cases.

Administrators said current staff members are helping out where they can but expect things to be back to normal and running smoothly within the year.

It is important to note administrators could not comment on the circumstances surrounding all of the resignations, since it is a personnel matter, so we do not know why all of the employees chose to leave.