The California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) has a simple charger: “The California Department of Developmental Services is the agency through which the State of California provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities.” The CDDS works under the framework of the Lanterman Act . Key to the Lanterman Act is the concept that the state would empower local, private agencies to both manage and provide these services. From the management side, this lead to the Regional Center system. Regional Centers are local nonprofits which contract with service providers to serve the clients (developmentally disabled) in their area.
One of these regional centers is IRC— Inland Regional Center , which serves Riverside and San Bernadino counties (inland from Los Angeles).
Now, I got to admit, I read that title and though, “uh-oh. Here comes another of those stories criticizing services for the disabled. But, here are the first few paragraphs of that story:
In 2006, a state-funded center serving developmentally disabled people spent $2.9 million to develop four houses for its clients in Riverside County.
Just months after the houses were completed, the county assessor’s office estimated the properties were worth $1.1 million less than the Inland Regional Center had paid to build them.
Four years later, they’re worth 31 percent of their cost.
The $2 million loss, as documented by tax records and assessor data, wasn’t just the result of a bad real estate bet made with public money by the regional center, which is part of the state’s system of 21 nonprofits charged with arranging care for developmentally disabled people.
I don’t know what is worse, the idea that services for the developmentally disabled cost too much on their own, or that some sort of mismanagement is costing taxpayers extra in their support of the developmentally disabled.
The state Department of Developmental Services has placed on probation the largest of 21 publicly funded regional centers serving developmentally disabled people, saying it illegally used state money to develop housing, violated the center’s contract with the state and circumvented a statutory freeze placed on rates paid to care providers.
The department sent a letter dated Jan. 19 about its actions to the center’s board in Southern California.
Ouch. Ouch on so many levels. Yes, as a taxpayer, I hate the idea of my money being wasted. On the other hand, this goes to the fact that organizations like the regional centers hold much more than the obvious (supplying support). They hold a large part of the reputation of the community. In times like these, with the economic stresses we are under, we can’t afford stories like those above.
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Clay: "Just months after the houses were completed, the county assessor’s office estimated the properties were worth $1.1 million less than the Inland Regional Center had paid to build them."
I would suspect some collusion and kickbacks between the contractor who built them, and whoever okayed the bids. Were they all built by the same contractor?
"Four years later, they’re worth 31 percent of their cost."
The additional $1 million loss may have been a result of the real estate bubble.
Hey Clay, thanks for stopping by. I was just over at your blog a few minutes ago. How can I not read a blog post, ""?