Sup. Michael Mayo
Press Release

Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Criticizes Move to Take Away Mental Health Authority From County Board

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. today said that any efforts to remove the County Board’s authority over the County’s mental health system are an attempt to place blame on the Board for mismanagement at the Behavioral Health Division.

By - Oct 9th, 2013 12:28 pm

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. today said that any efforts to remove the County Board’s authority over the County’s mental health system are an attempt to place blame on the Board for mismanagement at the Behavioral Health Division.

“The County Board does not have day-to-day supervision of operations in BHD, and criticism of the Board for mismanagement at BHD is misplaced,” said Mayo, a member of the Health and Human Needs Committee. “Even before the state Legislature made it very clear under Act 14 that day-to-day operations of County operations lie with the County Executive, the Board did not run operations. The Board sets policy.

“I strongly support mental health services for the most vulnerable people in our society, and I am open to any suggestion that will improve services to the mentally ill. But we also have to be mindful of spending the taxpayers’ dollars on the most effective and efficient means of delivering those services.”

Mayo said that any proposal for a state or regional takeover of mental health services has risks for taxpayers.

“If the state takes over mental health services, will the state pay for them? I hope the state is not trying to stick it to Milwaukee County again,” he said. “If some sort of a regional authority takes over mental health services, as has been suggested by some, will this new entity be accountable to the people? And again, who will pay for these services under this new authority.

“These are questions that need to be answered before we take authority of the mental health system from the County Board. I’m open to suggestions that will improve mental health services, but taking away our authority is not the answer.

“I will put my record against the County Executive and the Governor for support of mental health services any time. I have always advocated for a safety net for those who cannot take care of themselves. I just don’t think taking away the County Board’s authority is the right direction to take.”

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