New county health Supervisors turn attention to mental health concerns
Plumas County supervisors hired a new mental health director, approved the search for a behavioral health therapist and learned that housing a county resident in a state hospital could cost the county as much as $7 million, all during their Jan. 15 meeting.
Kimball Pier, the county’s new mental health director, was scheduled to begin work Jan. 22. Pier is a psychologist who earned her master’s degree from Seattle Pacific University and her Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Pat Leslie has served as the county’s interim director since John Sebold left the position in May 2012.
During the board meeting, Supervisor Lori Simpson publicly thanked Leslie for her work.
Earlier in the day Leslie asked the supervisors for additional funding for a county resident who is housed at a state hospital.
The supervisors had previously approved a transfer of funds to pay for a six-month stay, and during the Jan. 15 meeting, authorized the transfer of $111,060 for an additional six months. The money comes from a mental health reserve fund specifically for this purpose.
Leslie told the supervisors that the patient was moved from acute to long-term care.
Supervisor Jon Kennedy asked Leslie what the prognosis was for that length of stay.
“If an individual doesn’t exit within six months, we are probably looking at a long-term basis,” Leslie said, adding that the county could be looking at an “entire lifespan.”
She said that in this individual’s case, based on actuarial tables, the county would have to set aside $7 million.
Leslie said that there is no assistance from the state and that’s why counties are required to maintain these reserve funds.
“We can hope Obamacare will shift things,” she said.
Thirteen to interview for job
The supervisors will interview 13 individuals Jan. 28 who hope to be the county’s new director of facility services and then narrow that group to a handful for a more in-depth interview.
Most of the applicants are local and hope to succeed Joe Wilson, who accepted a job with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. last December.
Mark Rother is the interim director.
Public Works Director Bob Perreault told the supervisors that there would be a public information meeting Jan. 31 in Greenville to discuss mandatory commercial recycling.
Similar meetings have already been held in Quincy and La Porte, with future events to be held in Chester, Graeagle and Beckwourth.
Perreault said that state law requires a commercial program and the county is negotiating this new aspect of waste management with its two franchise contractors: Waste Management and InterMountain Disposal.
The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Green Meadows Apartments Community Room, at 152 Green Meadows Lane.