Johnson County to Participate in Planning MHDD Region
By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Johnson County Board of Supervisors formally agreed Thursday to participate in the planning of a regional network to provide services for mental health and the developmentally disabled.
The board voted 4-1 in support of a resolution to join in the planning and development of a region that would include Linn, Benton, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa and Jones counties. A decision to actually join the region will come after an agreement between the counties is drawn up.
Johnson County had previously overseen its own mental health, developmentally disabled, or MHDD, services. The state Department of Human Services has encouraged the creation of regional agencies under reform legislation passed by the Legislature last session. The goal is to share case-management and support costs while providing a uniform level of services across the state.
Janelle Rettig cast the dissenting vote, saying she objected to each county having one vote in the network. That would give the much smaller counties of Benton, Delaware, Iowa and Jones say over how Johnson County taxes are spent and programming for its residents, she said.
The other supervisors expressed displeasure with the MHDD changes but said it is mandated by the state and if the county doesn’t join a region on its own, the state could pick one for it. That could land Johnson County is a less desirable position, they said.
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