Opinion Piece By Linda Sutter – August 3, 2017
Trying to get to the brunt of the Rural Human Services (RHS) problem is like trying to get milk from a goat that is male. It ain’t going to happen. Crescent City quoted breach of contract and alluded to the patsy Scott Feller as the reason they dropped RHS from receiving any CDBG fund money. And, City Manager, Mike Young, stated that RHS was not cooperating with the City. Further, he said that when the City asked for specific documents, RHS refused to hand them over. Does that sound familiar in another unrelated case?
Mitch Hanna has a propensity of denying people a look-see at documents when it came to Sutter Coast Hospital. He currently sits on the RHS board and maybe his in-actions have spilled over onto the board? Just a small observation without any ounce of confirmation, but seems appropriate.
Back to the story, so I asked an employee of RHS, why isn’t RHS cooperating with the city? Her response, “We have given the city everything they have requested.” Ok, now we have a quandary. The City says RHS is not cooperating and RHS says, “Yes, we are.”
Well let’s look a little deeper into this madness. Do you recall the workforce center use to be in the RHS building? The Workforce Center moved. Why? Was it because they too were having the same problem as the city in getting financials? Why yes it is. In fact due to the fact that RHS is so shady with their financial reports, this and that, the workforce had no choice but to separate from RHS because if they had not separated from RHS, the workforce would have lost their funding.
Who is doing the books for RHS? The Treasurer of the RHS Board of Directors is Mike Riese, but certainly he would not be the accountant for RHS. After all his expertise is law. In any case, whoever the RHS finance director is, they must not have taken the 101 class on public finance, public reporting, or simple accounting techniques. In fact, the very heart of this whole situation comes down to money, and RHS failed their audit.
RHS did verify that the food bank program would continue to hand out food boxes as they get money from other resources. However, Harrington House is suffering big time.
The Harrington House originally had a staff of 14. Now down to 7. This essential service is the one suffering the most and in my eye, looks like a form of retaliation for filing a sexual harassment suit against the former Executive Director, Scott Feller.
What can be done? We need to look at the Board of Directors. What is their responsibility in all of this? The Board of Directors have quite a few responsibilities, and are failing to do so miserably. According to their Bylaws they are to maintain all CORPORATE RECORDS especially adequate records of account, including accounts of its properties, business transactions, assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains, and loses. Does that go back to the Treasurer, Michael Riese?
This basically boils down to the RHS board members once again. In my opinion, they need to resign, and new people with proper backgrounds should be received. The question that pops up frequently is, who wants to do sit on a board for free? I counter that with a quote from John F. Kennedy, “ Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country?” I personally would sit on this board and I am sure there are other community members who have experience in accounting and report writing that would step up to the plate. If RHS continues to go down the road they are going there will be great jeopardy and this community can’t afford that.