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Friday, April 10, 2020

County Board Works for Mental Health Region Transition

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Margaret Stadtwald
Margaret Stadtwaldhttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Stadtwald works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

MUSCATINE, Iowa—At their Jan. 20 meeting, the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors moved forward with several plans to make their anticipated transition out of the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region (EIR) in July more successful.

After serving for a year as Vice Chair of the EIR, Nathan Mather plans to resign his position as both Chair for 2020 (under the region’s 28E agreement, the Vice Chair becomes Chair the following year) and as Muscatine County’s representative to the EIR. Since Muscatine will only remain in the EIR for another five months, Mather considered it unwise to act as its chair.

Jeff Sorensen will become Muscatine County’s representative to the EIR for the next five months. Since Sorensen has served as the South East Iowa Link (SEIL) Region’s primary contact after Muscatine reapplied to enter the region, the Board considered it wise for him to wrap up dealings with the EIR between now and July.

Muscatine County has also withdrawn their request for mediation with the EIR as tensions surrounding their leaving the region have relaxed. “In our discussions with the other board members in the Eastern Iowa region, we were able to resolve the issue where they wanted to kick us out and we asked for mediation,” reported Mather: “Everyone said it was silly to go through all of this for another five months. So, I think that’s all going to back down and we’ll just remain in the region through the end of the fiscal year,” he elaborated.

As the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors continues to navigate the county’s transition out of the EIR, they welcome these improved relations with all involved and, as Mather put it, look forward to, “moving forward with what’s best for the folks in Muscatine County that we serve.”

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