So are you so tired of the flag drama that you are ready to go back to an Oxford House post? ;-) Watchdog.org reported that the Board of Mental Health wouldn't allow Linda Woods to discuss her concerns about the Oxford House program at its regular meeting last week. Steve Wilson reported:
Apparently, the Mississippi Board of Mental Health doesn’t have five minutes to hear from a taxpayer.
In a meeting Thursday, Linda Woods wanted to tell the board about a loved one’s experience in one of the state’s taxpayer-funded halfway houses.
The board, which meets once a month, voted against giving her any time. It told her if she emailed the Mississippi Department of Mental Health there’s a chance officials could place her on agenda next month.
Woods says her loved one lived for two weeks in the Oxford House on Northside Drive in Jackson and two weeks in Meridian, where he relapsed three times before leaving for a residential facility in Texas.
MDMH spokesman Adam Moore said the requests to be placed on the agenda “must be made by noon on Monday of the week prior to the meeting. The Board of Mental Health votes at the outset of each meeting to approve or disapprove the agenda, subject to revisions by the board.
“Parties not on the agenda appearing at the meeting may only address the board if recognized.”
The board Thursday placed a time limit on a presentation by state Sen. Will Longwitz, R-Madison, about the growing problems with the 17 Oxford Houses. A representative of the Attorney General’s office timed Longwitz with a stopwatch, and the board refused to give him any more time.
Longwitz tried to plead Woods’s case, but board member Robert Landrum told him he was tired of hearing about the Oxford House situation — “after having to sit through it” in the last meeting.Rest of article.
Kingfish note: I will defend the board on this issue. What took place is a common problem that occurs when people want to address government bodies and are new to the experience. Most boards (aldermen, trustees, councils, etc) all have rules and procedures for getting on the agenda and those rules are in place for a reason. A regular citizen wants to address the board and then gets frustrated because he wasn't familiar with the rules. I suspect that is what took place up in Corinth. The Jackson City Council allows anyone to come up and address the council. Those meetings are also somewhat dysfunctional. It will be interesting to see if the board will allow her to get on the agenda if she follows the proper procedures.