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Cuts affect real people

Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2000

According to news sources, plans to make the city Health and Social Services Department self-sufficient started two years ago. To quote the source, ``It did not pan out.''

We are dealing with real people's lives here. Because it didn't pan out, Christine Blackgoat, Dave Palmer and Donna Pierce are willing to dump numerous clients on the street to fend for themselves. Well, they can't. These people need help. I know this decision affects my family deeply.

Why is it that when a budget problem occurs, it is always those folks who cannot defend themselves who get to deal with the consequences? Two years ago they planned to make the department self-sufficient. Then why is it that they concurrently spent tens of thousands of dollars of their budgeted dollars to not only design a renovated building, but to redesign it several times paying out unnecessary funds to all engineering disciplines involved? And why do it at all, when they knew the departmental financial situation was shaky?

My sister recently was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She is a mental health client who voluntarily makes sure she gets the services she knows she needs. She is trying to make her life work for her. CBJ is saying, ``Go away, go somewhere else, we can't help you.'' Her current case worker has been an absolute blessing for us, she's handling in-home health care, care-a-van, and Medicaid paperwork as well as psychiatric and medical services - things that I will gladly do now that she will be out of a job, but I am not a professional in that field.

Thanks Christine, Dave and Donna. You have no idea the ramifications of what your secret meeting has done. Shame on all of you. Instead of giving up, you three could have designed a way to fund the sorely needed resources or ask for help. I would be a proud contributor, if you gave me a way to do it. Your decision and the message it sends is quite clear.

Rena Balzer



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