Winnebago Board to Consider Withdrawing From Social Services Region

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday to consider leaving the County Social Services group. The psychiatric services group incorporates over 20 counties and pools county taxpayer levied money together to provide psychological services to residents within the group. CSS Director Bob Lincoln has come under fire for alleged lavish spending on programs that continually failed or did not deliver what was promised or intended.

Area counties such as Winnebago, Worth, Kossuth, and Hancock Counties have all considered leaving the group in favor of either forming their own group or joining another region. Winnebago County Supervisor Bill Jensvold also represents the county on the County Social Services board. He explained the intent of the Winnebago County contingent.

Each county in the 22 county region contributes taxpayer dollars to County Social Services in order to fund the program.  In 2019, Winnebago County will pay $373,999 in county property tax money to County Social Services. In 2020, the county will send $372,451 in county property tax money. All of the supervisors in Winnebago County feel that the county is overpaying because there are not that many patients who would justify the cost in taxpayer money.

Other area counties share the same opinion and believe that they are subsidizing costs for the more populous counties within the 22 county region.

Kossuth and Winnebago Counties were banned from voting on issues for nearly a year because they had outstanding debts to County Social Services. Those debts have since been reconciled and voting status has been returned to the two counties. The debts were incurred because the counties did not want to pay taxpayer dollars for programs and policies that failed. However, to join another regional group, both counties had to clear all debts to County Social Services.