The Inyo County Board of Supervisors formally pulled the plug on its partnership with Mono County and the Inyo Mono Area Agency on Aging (IMAAA) this Tuesday, notifying the IMAAA Governing Board that it would no longer continue providing administrative services for the senior service program as of June 30, 2012. This decision marks the end of Inyo’s 24-year role in funding and administering oversight services for both Inyo and Mono senior programs.
Formed in 1980 through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), IMAAA provides Inyo and Mono seniors with numerous support services. But Inyo has also been providing administrative services, such as data collection from all service providers and data reporting to the state, preparation of state-required budgets and multiple reporting documents, and staffing all activities associated with both the Advisory Council and Governing Board, for both counties.
The Board cited the escalating cost of these administrative services as the reason for its decision. “We have a 24-year old agreement with IMAAA that requires the County to provide four specific staff positions to carry out administrative services on behalf of the JPA, but the contract only pays Inyo County $62,000 to fund those four positions plus all of the other requirements of the contract,” BOS Chair Susan Cash noted. What this means is that, more and more, Inyo has been forced to rely on General Fund dollars to pay for both its administrative and direct services to Inyo and Mono.
Inyo’s current IMAAA funding shortfall for FY 2011-2012 was $871,465. This year the BOS approved a contribution of $686,514 from the General Fund to cover the shortfall. $393,388 of this, according to a staff report, was estimated to pay for the county’s IMAAA administrative costs. Neither Inyo nor Mono is mandated to provide these services.” Senior programs are ultimately the responsibility of the state.
Supervisors stressed that Inyo’s decision would not mean an end to direct services for Inyo County seniors. At worst, Inyo would withdraw from the IMAAA JPA and take over senior programs.