The McHenry County Mental Health Board (McMHB) is the picture perfect example of everything that is wrong in government. The McMHB pays out 20.96% in salaries and administrative costs. This is absolutely unacceptable. For every one dollar collected 21 cents go to keep the lights on and pay 31 employees. This is so inefficient and is denying resources to the people who are supposed to be served by McMHB.
Simply put, there is not a true “budget” that is available for inspection to the public or to the county board. So the first question we really have to ask is, why give any agency any money if they cannot provide a budget that meets the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices or GAAP.
The closest thing you can find to a budget is in this document – The McMHB Agenda for the January 22nd, 2013 meeting. This document has not been audited by any third party and is from internal sources. The budget line items start on “Packet Pg. 10”.
If you closely examine the top right hand corner you will see the document starts on “Financial Page 2”. Where is “Financial Page 1” and where is “Financial Page 4”? They may be title pages or they may be blank, but where are they?
When you look at these documents you will see that they have been printed, then scanned, and then inserted into this document. This is by design as to not allow people to easily examine the numbers. If you want to run any analysis in Microsoft Excel you cannot simply use a program that takes PDF data and turns it into a spreadsheet. You can either file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request or you can type it in yourself.
I have taken the time to type it in myself and you may download the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet here. Full transparency. In entering data I allowed Microsoft Excel to perform all calculations where possible. You will notice that there are rounding discrepancies. The numbers are the same as far as the amounts; however, rounding is inconsistent.
On the first tab on the bottom left labeled “2012 Revenue” we can see that the McMHB did not receive all the funds they thought they would. The board thought they would receive $13,522,799.25 but instead only received $13,149,254.96. This shows that the McMHB is well funded. The taxpayers of McHenry County are concerned and care about those who are mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
The second tab labeled “2012 Administration” is disturbing. Starting at the top you will see Salaries. The salaries presented by McMHB do not match up with what the county website is reporting. There is a discrepancy of $380,713.10. In calculating the cost of salaries I was careful to remove line item 6 (Salaries) and line item 11 (2012 McMHB Expenses Healthcare Plan Premiums) as they were factored in at the county.
What you end up with is the McHenry County Mental Heath Board has a salary and administration rate of 20.96 percent. This is horrible. This is not “good value” for our taxpayer dollar. Money is not flowing to the people who need it but instead to the bureaucrats who thrive on it.
We have to fix this. You can run a $13 million dollar program on $450 thousand or about three percent of the total budget. It isn’t rocket science, its good management and stewardship.
We will start looking at the expenses claimed by McMHB and see why so many of the line items are drastically below what was allocated. We will also start looking at the overages and why some line items are completely out of whack. Lets hope the county board moves quickly to confirm Mr. Scott Summers who will bring integrity and fiscal accountability to the board.