Mariposa Democratic Club

Minutes, 3/9/2013

Attendees: 32

Flag Salute; intros

Jim Rydingsword

Speaker: Jim Rydingsword, Director Mariposa Human Services

Visit the Website for Human Services.

Mr. Rydingsword started with a quote from Hubert Humphrey – "...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " (last speech of Hubert H. Humphrey, Nov 1, 1977)

This quote helps guide him in his work.

His department has a budget of $16 million ; this is virtually all funded by the state and federal governments (later in the presentation he mentioned that the county funds some of the social services at about $3,000 a year). The department has a behavioral health arm which provides mental health services for both adults and children; it also has an alcohol and drug arm and a conservatorship arm. The dept. is required to serve mentally ill adults and children. A portion of mental health funding comes from the Mental Health Services Act which put a 1% tax on millionaires; another source is a program realignment the state did to target funds to local governments; and a third source is Medi-Cal reimbursement. His department has a mental health clinic on their site.

(Note: Mr. Rydingsword mentioned that the mental health clinic building belongs to the county; the larger building is on a 25 year lease; at the end of that time, the county can own it if they choose.)

The funding to cover alcohol and drug programs comes from federal funds; the conservatorship funding is also from funds allocated to local counties from another state program realignment.

There are 105 employees in the department; over 7,000 county residents use the services each year.

The social services part covers welfare programs, Child Welfare, Adult Protective Services and Adoptions. The adoption program is small; it's outsourced to a Madera county program.

When asked about the sequester, Mr. Rydingsword said that his department is not affected because these aren't discretionary programs, they are entitlement programs.

Looking forward, they are putting together a three year plan for mental health and will be looking for public comment and ideas.

They have a Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council that meets every month. They get good turnout for it.

They also work closely with Mountain Crisis and other local groups. Mountain Crisis gets funding from AB105, which was the bill that shifted prisoners to local facilities. They also get funding from fines for domestic abuse.

Mr. Rydingsword encouraged anyone with questions or issues to reach out to him or his department; just go talk to them if you need help. His phone number is 209-742-0892.

He is proud that Mariposa is one of two counties being included in a test rollout of a "Trauma Induced Therapy" program developed in San Diego.

Given that the state no longer has a deficit, they are looking at moves to add funding back to "welfare to work" programs. There is a "prosperity initiative" that looks at getting people access to health care; access to education and access to work. This has been successful in San Luis Obispo County. A speaker from there will be requested to explain how it was done.

Mr. Rydingsword then discussed the move to Medi-Cal Managed Care. Mariposa was one of 28 counties that still were on a fee for service setup; now all the counties need to move to managed care. State put it out to bid, and Anthem Blue Cross and California Health and Wellness won the bid. He is having Anthem Blue Cross come to a Board of Supervisor meeting on April 2nd to discuss their program and hopes to have someone from California Health and Wellness come as well.


Mike McCreary

Speaker: Mike McCreary

Mr. McCreary, member of the J C Fremont Hospital Board, gave a summary of the JCF situation. If the state demands reimbursement of the Medi-Cal overpayment for long-term care since mid-2011, the hospital will owe (so far) about $1.1 million.

Hospital gets about $2.2 million from sales tax and property tax; their budget is $27 million a year. Last year the Ewing Wing lost about $458K dollars; the emergency room lost $1.1 to $1.2 million (note: this is an unaudited figure).

On Feb 22nd, emergency legislation was introduced to stop the cuts; it's AB900, we should all write letters to support it.

Jim Rydingsword added that California needs to give hospitals and long-term care facilities time to adjust to the other health care proposed changes.


Seven resolutions were presented to the club members for discussion on whether to send them to the state convention; all were approved (support of desalinization plants, reforming the filibuster, rollback of Medi-Cal cuts to skilled nursing facilities, funding for JCF Hospital District, closing the commercial loophole in Prop 13, adding vision/dental/hearing care to any future health care plans, and asking that any secret legal justifications by the federal government of various acts be made public).

Treasurer's report:

The February Report is on website; we have just about gotten all the money needed for the Jefferson Award; our room fee includes coffee, tea and ice water, so our breakfast checks are smaller – please consider this when donating to the hat and when tipping our server.

Jefferson Award:

Carmel has received essays from school; needs judges. Lowell Young, Suzette Prue and Sue McGahey volunteered to judge them.

Membership report:

Lesley talked about how important it is to let people know that there are other Democrats in the county; outreach, outreach, outreach. She is calling members who have not renewed for 2013 as well.

Merced River Bill:

Congressman Tom McClintock has re-introduced the bill to remove Wild and Scenic protection from a portion of the Merced River; his co-sponsor is Congressman Jim Costa. It's virtually a duplicate of the Denham bill. The Dem Club will include Costa on the list of politicians getting a letter from us against the bill. (The bill would would allow Merced Irrigation District to apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to raise the spillway at Lake McClure. The legislation adjusts the Merced Wild and Scenic River boundary to match the FERC project boundary for the New Exchequer Dam.)

Meeting adjourned at 11:33

Minutes submitted by Anne Brock, Secretary, Mariposa Democratic Club