Hundreds of people are directly affected by programs offered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS), but few take the opportunity to provide input on how those services are delivered. An organization that’s in place to accommodate public comments and suggestions will hold its next meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 pm in the PCHS building at Roulette. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at-risk, and the intellectually disabled. Recently, the Potter County Board of Commissioners appointed Michele Mather (shown) of Ulysses as the latest member of the Human Services Advisory Board. She is a paramedic with the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association. Other board members are Anne Nelson (chair), John Moshier (vice chair), Charles Wicker, Susan Valentine, Cameron Kockler (youth representative), Linda Swift, Dr. Victor Brown, Kassie Irwin, Gail Allen, Gary Perkins, Denise Minderler (consumer) and Dawn Deiter. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the board should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.
During the board’s most recent meeting, PCHS Administrator Jim Kockler presented a summary of the impact that the state’s fiscal 2012-13 will have on the agency’s programs. While demand for many services is growing, state funds were cut by as much 10 percent in some programs. Kockler said PCHS may be able to cushion the blow to some extent if Potter is among counties selected for a block grant pilot program that gives local administrators greater flexibility in spending state funds. Mark Benson, director of coordinated services at PCHS, said a $6,000 cut in state support will adversely affect local food banks. Colleen Wilber, director of alcohol and drug abuse services, echoed those concerns in discussing changes in her department’s operations. She also discussed steps being taken to educate the public on the growing problem with synthetic drugs in Potter County, notably products being marketed to addicts under deceptive names such as “bath salts.” Joy Glassmire, director of children and youth services, distributed copies of that department’s needs-based plan for fiscal 2013-14.
Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.