Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren is fit to be tied. The offense?
As stated in the Wilmington Morning Star
In the last fiscal year, the county DSS received $349,270 for the program, but reverted $195,000 of that back to the state, interim director Neil Walters said.
Walters – who took over in September, after the fiscal year ended – said the department is on pace to spend all of its crisis intervention money this year.
How do they plan to achieve that?
But at a Tuesday meeting, the board approved adjustments to the temperature requirements to allow money to be given out to more people.
Under the current rules, the temperature has to exceed 85 degrees or be below 55 degrees for three consecutive days.
The DSS board approved revisions that change the temperatures to 80 degrees and 60, and the temperatures must stay there for only two days.
We wonder how our government can never get enough tax dollars, and how they manage to spend them all. Well, here is a classic example, courtesy of Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren.
They must still gain state approval before going into effect. The other eligibility requirements will remain the same.
Whose fault is it?
Warren blamed Jamie Orrock, the former DSS director who was fired in October amid claims of sexual harassment and retaliation, for the money left over.
“We have people with all types of crises in the community, and he’s sending all that money back,” Warren said.
But Orrock and current DSS employees said they were following the policies given to them by the board.
“No director can change the plan,” Orrock said. “As far as I know, we approved everyone who was eligible.”
DSS administrative assistant Glenda Harper said anyone who was turned down either hadn’t experienced an eligible crisis or the temperature criteria weren’t met.
“It wasn’t because of anything that anyone did outside of following policy,” Harper said.
The state Division of Social Services said it is not unusual for a county to return money to the state.
In that case, the money is put back into the pot and reallocated to counties that have an increased need that season, said Dean Simpson, chief of economic and family services for the state Division of Social Services.
Even with the upcoming changes, customers jammed into the county DSS office on Friday said the requirements are still too stringent.
Pamela Maurer of Supply said she and her roommate were turned down for two summers because they didn’t have a doctor’s note saying that her roommate’s 2-year-old daughter needed cool temperatures.
“If you don’t have electricity, how are you supposed to feed the baby and keep the baby cool?” Maurer said. “How is that not a crisis?”
Andrew Dunn: 343-2328
On Twitter.com: @Andrew_Dunn