SAGUACHE — Last week during a work session with Saguache County Commissioners, Public Health Director David Daboll addressed a memo he received from the BoCC requesting he minimize expenses because of financial constraints faced by the county.
Daboll told commissioners he felt the memo was “concerning” and assured them he is working on the problems within the department, something he already had discussed with them. But he also told commissioners “There are no expenses to cut.”
In an earlier telephone conversation, Daboll explained that he was hired in the wake of two public health department heads who left after serving for only a short time, and is still trying to sort things out for himself.
“I’m very close to getting things stabilized,” Daboll told the board. “I hope to show you soon what I am putting in place.”
Daboll provided commissioners with a detailed printout of his expenses and the department’s annual money flow, showing the lack of wiggle room where adjustments to the budget are concerned. He also provided commissioners with a copy of state statutes governing the health department and asked that they read them.
Addressing comments made by Commissioner Jason Anderson, Daboll reminded Anderson that he was not responsible for the current structure of the department and is trying his best to make things work. Anderson told him the memo was not meant to be a judgment on his efforts and that commissioners are satisfied with what he is doing.
“Every department is struggling,” Anderson acknowledged.
Daboll addressed issues with the Personal Care Provider program (PCP) but said he is monitoring these “on a daily basis.” He pointed out to commissioners that the PCP program is one of the things that helps support the department financially, as it is funded by the state and at least “breaks even.”
He also said he is working to adapt to changes made by the state in its billing system. Adjustment to recent grant programs is another area he is addressing, he advised the BoCC.
Health department employee Iris Garcia further explained the issues with the Communities That Care grant and its funding over a several year period. She explained that the funding structure of the grant had to be adjusted to allow for the long distances between communities in the Valley and the diversity of these communities.
Jason Anderson expressed concerns over the fluctuating status of the funding, noting that he believes a “fall-back plan” is needed for the program. Garcia said she is working with the various communities to see that all bases are covered.