Open Letter to Stakeholders of the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities

July 1, 2017

As our program’s new Superintendent, I am sure you are curious as to the direction I see our program heading and my vision for the future. All of Mr. Mehalik’s projects that have been started I plan on seeing through and I anticipate a few more. As you may already know, many of the adjustments are a result of mandatory changes in Federal and State rules and regulations.

This document serves as a list of general goals of our program over the next 3-5 years beginning July 1, 2017 (see the three-year action plan for more detailed descriptions). This serves as a summary and should serve as a rallying point to improve the lives of the individuals we serve. All of the following items are and will be improvements to the individuals
and families we serve.

ADULT PROGRAM … Continue with the privatization plan. Seek a CEO. Functioning out of one building has already taken place so our next step is to do a study of what building serves Jeffco best in the long-term. We would like to be fully privatized by July 1, 2018 and no later than December 31, 2018.

SHAFFER PLAZA … Continue to downsize to better serve the individuals and to “right size” the number of ICF beds needed in Jefferson County. In the short-term (over the next year or so), move out 6 individuals to new homes developed by a new provider. Once we are down to 20 individuals, then use two homes. In the long-term (over the next 3 years), have 16 or so ICF beds.

SSA DEPARTMENT … Move out of the Training Center to another location. Possibilities are the following: office space outside of our current buildings, convert a Shaffer home into new administrative offices, or convert the Jeffco building into new administrative offices. In addition, study the need for additional SSA positions with the additional waivers and ICF downsizing.

TRANSPORTATION … Continue to privatize adult transportation and right-size our school bus drivers down to 5 or 6 through attrition.

SCHOOL-AGE / ELEMENTARY / PRESCHOOL … Consider and study the need for an Early Childhood Coordinator to oversee all Early Intervention and Preschool requirements and services.

TRAINING CENTER BUILDING … Study the future feasibility of usefulness. Does it get remodeled into a new administrative building? Does it become the sole building of Jeffco? Does it temporarily become the sole home of Jeffco while the Workshop is remolded? Do we ultimately raze the building or turn it over to the County?

HOUSING … Evaluate housing and improve housing conditions through new development and/or remodeling.

ADMINISTRATION … Possible move into another location with the SSA department. Create a full-time IT Coordinator position to better meet the needs of the program.

Community Integration / Employment Opportunities … Continue to seek and find partners that want to assist us in providing a better life for individuals with disabilities.

As you can see, we have a lot on our plate and all of the above changes will benefit the individuals we serve. I am asking each one of us to accept this challenge and bring our program into the next era. I am excited about the possibilities and look forward to what our program will look like on July 1, 2022!

Michael J. Zinno