Continues challenging officials’ handling of CYS

To the editor:

Well, a couple weeks have passed and not to my surprise, nothing has changed. Here is the “real rest of the story.” Again, this letter is in reference to my concerns in Mifflin County and the management of a certain agency in the county. My concerns, statements and opinions are just that, mine, and I am not representing any agency with my views nor are they affiliated with any agency.

I would like to encourage all taxpaying citizens of Mifflin County to become involved in the upcoming election, listen to the candidates carefully and get involved vote for the best candidates that will keep the county citizens’ best interest as a priority even after they have won the election.

Commissioner Sunderland has been in the position the longest and frankly, I know this has to be stressful and I truly believe he feels that he has to side with the (Children and Youth Services) administrator. However, he is also known in this community, from what I hear, as being the one commissioner that will stand up for its people and do what’s right. I hope that Commissioner Sunderland upholds that reputation and does the right thing pertaining to all the issues with CYS.

I attended the commissioners meeting on Feb. 27 and was utterly amazed at how the citizens were treated, as well as how some officials have been treated since the meeting. During the meeting several questions were directed to the commissioners, unfortunately with no answers other than beating around the bush and the commissioners’ letter to the editor, “And this is the rest of the story.” How can people that are to be governing our county and are to be representing the best interests of the county and its residents joke around about such serious matters?

It was stated during the meeting that the reason for not filling the supervisor’s position at Children and Youth for such a long period was “there were problems with civil service” and they had no qualified applicants. Fact being, there were qualified applicants; however, not interviewed or hired. I also have a hard time believing that civil service was creating a problem for that long. I see a pattern here. When it comes to the issues presented against Children and Youth and the administrator of Children and Youth; it was civil service, the paralegal and even the county solicitor that were thrown under the bus by the administrator always someone else’s fault, or it is an exception.

It was mentioned that another paralegal position has been approved for Mifflin County Children and Youth. I question why another paralegal is needed. In comparing Mifflin County to other counties in the commonwealth, especially population, I do not feel that another paralegal is warranted. Best Practice in child welfare is to keep the family together and provide the services needed to accomplish that, with the exception of immediate harm.

If Mifflin County strives to use Best Practice, there would not be as many children in out of home care as there are in Mifflin County, and definitely no need for another paralegal. So the county will pay out an additional salary without really needing this position. I understand that (the Department of Public Welfare) has approved the position as well; however, I understand why they would want this due to the controversy regarding the out of home placements of children in Mifflin County. When asked about hiring an additional solicitor, no answer was given as to why or why not this is not being considered.

This information is all public knowledge, and once the minutes for the Feb. 27 meeting are actually online, you can go to the Mifflin County Commissioners’ site to read them. Of course the minutes are watered down to actually what all was stated in the meeting, especially from the public. When questioned why certain things were not in the Special Meeting Minutes, the public was told that they do not have to put everything in the minutes.

I plead with you to become involved in the politics of our county. Speak out about your concerns.

Karen Cleck French