Sup. Michael Mayo
Press Release

Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. QUESTIONS Bill on Mental Health

Says Legislation Could Reduce Accountability, Looks Like More of the Same; He Questions How It Will Help Patients

By - Feb 3rd, 2014 02:04 pm

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., today questioned a proposal by state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-West Allis, and Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, to create an unrepresented board of professionals to oversee mental health programs in Milwaukee County.

“There is no question that reform is needed in the mental health system,” Mayo said. “But the administration is responsible for day-to-day operations. How will an unrepresented board make the administration more accountable for this mental health crisis? Where are the checks and balances?”

Mayo, a member of the County Board’s Health and Human Needs Committee, questioned how the proposal increases accountability in the mental health system. He said the proposal would give the County Executive and the former Milwaukee County Executive additional appointment authority.

“This isn’t about the County Board, this is about the people of Milwaukee County. How does giving the County Executive and former County Executive, Gov. Scott Walker, additional appointment authority and less oversight to choose committee members make the system better? They both ran and managed the system into the ground, and now they will be chiefly responsible for the make-up of the committee. Where is the safety net for patients?

“How is this going to fix the broken system? How is this creation of a new oversight board going to help the people in the system? How does this make service better? Why do we want to have a system where an unaccountable board will make the policy decisions on mental health? This is more of the same.

“This new board would meet only four times a year and use County money for mental health with no accountability. This should be unacceptable to the taxpayers of Milwaukee County.”

Mayo also questioned how the proposed new board would be accountable to not only to mental health consumers and mental health professionals but to taxpayers who expect the County Board to set policy.

“The sponsors of this bill have their heart in the right place, but this entire proposal is so poorly thought-out that it can only create more chaos in the system,” Mayo said. “This bill does nothing to provide solutions, it just raises many questions.”

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