This Letter is to correct inaccuracies in an Oct. 29 Letter written by Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor about mental health funding.
Fact: As Woodbury County attorney, I did not halt direct tax dollars from going to the Sanford Center in 2014 despite the implication otherwise. Only the Board of Supervisors has authority to take such action. I did, however, render an opinion to the board that the method used to allocate funding to the Sanford Center was inadequate. As a supporter of the Sanford Center, I’m saddened that the issue ever came up.
Fact: The request for opinion concerning the process by which the Board of Supervisors awarded county funding to the Sanford Center for at-risk youth prevention services was presented to my office, it was not I who questioned the process as suggested in the Oct. 29 Letter. Additionally, the request for opinion did not pertain to the mental health tax levy nor was it a question about the competency of services provided by the Sanford Center to at-risk youths. I am obligated to truthfully respond to such requests which I have done many times throughout my tenure regardless of my personal feelings or interest in a given subject matter, with few exceptions.
Fact: I spent a considerable amount of time drafting an RFP process for the board to consider using during the second half of fiscal year 2015 and going forward regarding county funding of at-risk youth prevention services. Those efforts were to no avail.
Finally, once the board decided not to fund nonprofits during the fiscal year 2016 budgeting process, including any further funding of the Sanford Center although no conflict continued to exist at that time, the RFP became moot. - P.J. Jennings, Sioux City, Woodbury County attorney