It’s time to have a very frank discussion of this whole integrated county human services levy- and where the money goes.
Yes, we need to provide human services- but, when much of the work is subcontracted out to “non-profits” – it’s time to redefine what a “non-profit” is- and I’m going to say that neither CareSource or Kettering Health Network or Premier Health Partners should be eligible to receive any funding until they put pay restrictions on top management- or start paying property taxes like every other business
Would you spend $150K to get back $5.9 million in revenue? Of course you would- and where is that money coming from? The taxpayers. Note, the executives of just two of the above organizations take home over $7 million a year in income.
From the DDN article:
Much of the $523,915 spent to promote passage of the Montgomery County Human Services Levy (Issue 9) came from organizations that will benefit from passage of the tax issue on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The single largest contributor, The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, gave $150,000 to the levy campaign.
Member hospitals share $5.9 million in levy funds annually. That money goes toward the $170 million hospitals collectively incur providing services to the poor, said Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the association.
The levy also funds programs for children, the frail elderly, along with people with metal health and addiction issues. Bucklew said without the levy funds “many more people would end up at a hospital.”
Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services served an estimated 20,000 children and adults in 2009 with $26.8 million in levy funds via agencies such as DayMont Behavioral Health Care, Inc.; Eastway Corporation; Samaritan Behavioral Health Inc. and South Community Inc. Those agencies combined donated $38,760 to the campaign.
Is it time to bid these services out? Would the VA health system be a better vendor? Or a county-run free clinic system? Somewhere along the line we need to stop transferring money from the people as taxes to companies that see fit to engage in unfair discriminatory trade practices- like charging lower rates to those with insurance and higher to those without.
I have no problem on paying to help keep our community healthy- I just would feel better if we weren’t being manipulated by large, extremely profitable businesses pretending to be non-profit good guys.
I’ll probably vote for this levy- but, hope that before the next one- voters have required any organization that receives funding to have fair trade policies in place and is not paying any more than a 10-1 ratio for executives to line workers- which should be required for them to claim non-profit status. It’s time that fake non-profits had to pay property taxes too.
The latest ruling that says charter schools have to pay property taxes while public schools don’t- should be the first hint that these large organizations need to be reigned in.
Further reading- who is getting and spending the campaign cash?
The latest campaign finance reports filed Oct. 21, showed the Human Services Levy Campaign had total monetary contributions of $537,096, with a previous balance of $229,854. Nearly $525,000 has already been spent on the 2010 campaign.
The greatest expense: television advertising. Payment of $333,710 went to Dayton-based, Penny Ohlmann Neiman, Inc. for television and magazine ads. It was a Cleveland-based company, Burges and Burges Strategist Inc., who laid out the campaign strategy. The company received payment of $42,184 for their services, then gifted $2,000 back to the campaign.
Note- this “team” of Burges and Burges along with Penny Ohlmann Neiman seems to almost always get this type of work in town. It never seems to be competitively bid- and why is a Cleveland firm engaged to plan how to sell to Daytonians? Burges also has the no-bid contract with the Dayton Public Schools- how’s their image changed to you?