Debate over letter by CMHSAS board chair

A June 16 letter to St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Dobberteen from the board chair of a county agency was a source of dispute during a special meeting Tuesday.
Called by the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County, the 25-minute session featured heated discussions about several matters, but centered primarily on the letter signed by CMHSAS board chair Barb Parker.
Parker indicated the county does not have authority to interfere with the affairs of CMHSAS. Her statement was made after county commissioners in June agreed to hire a Maryland-based company to conduct an efficiency study of the agency’s finances and operations.
The core of the matter, according to county commissioners Don Eaton and Rick Shaffer – who are also CMHSAS board members – was that Parker sent the letter without the support or authorization of Parker’s fellow CMHSAS board members.
Nonetheless, a resolution to ratify Parker’s letter was approved, 7-2. Eaton and Shaffer cast the dissenting votes.

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