Michigan commission for the blind staff present




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MCB December 8 & 9, 2011


APPROVED


MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011


VICTOR OFFICE CENTER

201 N. WASHINGTON SQUARE, 3rd FLOOR

CONFERENCE ROOM A/B

LANSING, MICHIGAN


MINUTES

Thursday, December 8


COMMISSIONERS PRESENT

Mr. Larry Posont Ms. Lydia Schuck

Mr. John Scott


COMMISSIONERS ABSENT

There are 2 Commissioner vacancies.


MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND STAFF PRESENT

Mr. Pat Cannon Ms. Sue Luzenski

Ms. Susan Turney Ms. Julia Burdgick

Ms. Elsie Duell Ms. Constance Zanger

Mr. James Hull Mr. Josh Hoskins

Ms. Carla Haynes Mr. Bob Robertson


GUESTS/ATTENDEES

Mr. Steve Easley Mr. Dave Robinson

Mr. Fred Wurtzel Mr. Terry Eagle

Mr. Maryann Robinson Mr. Joe Sontag

Mr. James Chaney Ms. Camille Chaney

Mr. Mark Rothenhauser Ms. Hazell Brooks

Mr. Tom Warren Ms. Debbie Taylor


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. Roll call was taken and a quorum was determined.


Attendees introduced themselves both in person and on the phone. Commissioner Posont stated that participants are not obligated to introduce themselves.


Public Comment (Verbatim Transcript)


Mr. Joe Sontag: Hello, Joe Sontag and I just wanted to say that, it’s just my humble opinion but I’m very concerned about things happening in the Business Enterprise Program as usual, not only with respect to my situation, which by the way, has not changed in the slightest since the last meeting or previous. But, with a number of things, the hearings that we are going to be hearing today only show that we have a mighty long way to go as an agency before we can hold ourselves out as the exemplar of what people are capable of doing. What the Business Enterprise Program really is, what it should be and what kind, what kind of service we can provide, what kind of standards we can hold ourselves to and what kind of standards, what kind of service we offer to the community. I also think it’s extremely sad when a staff member of the Business Enterprise Program during public comment at the last Elected Operators Committee program which took place last weekend was observed Christmas shopping as opposed to absorbing the public comment. Perhaps this is why, this is one reason why we have so many recurring difficulties. I also have to say that I must be one of the stupidest operators that there’s ever been because I, not for saying what I just did, but for doing what I did in the past, attempted to run my location in accordance with the agreements that I signed, with the rules and regulations that I learned and so forth. Just as an example, this is from a location that I am very familiar with. If anyone here in this room can explain to me how an operator could show $9,134 in sales and pay only $74.00 in sales tax this is with the understanding that snack bar operations pay typically sales tax based on 47% of their gross sales. Do the math. The number owed under best case conditions is far higher, it’s more like $258 if you round up. And, at this point because there are others, I know we have technical difficulties with the phone, I will yield the balance of my time.


Ms. Hazell Brooks: Hello? Hazell Brooks here. I did have a public comment, a couple things, I just talked to my promotional agent, about a situation that’s going on in Grand Towers and it has to do with the PA 260 and the illegal catering. And, and over the last couple of months work out a deal with some of the, people that are bringing in the outside food that we get. Some kind of financial remuneration for the number of people they have and the amount of what they pay for the catering. I’d like for us to try to go forward and set some kind of standard so the operator doesn’t really have to, pretty much, absorb the labor cost, the food cost and everything for that particular day. I’ve been very successful with that but I really do need the Agency, for us to sit down and maybe develop some kind of plan or develop some kind of language. Not to say its right because it is against Randolph Sheppard but, you know, a lot of the agencies are not, you know, adhering to the PA 260 or Randolph Sheppard. My concerns again, I’m very passionate about PA 260, as you all know, that we can actually have some discussion, some dialogue, I think it’s been kind of put to bed for a minute but I’d like to reiterate some talk in terms of PA 260. Thanks.

Business Enterprise Program (BEP)


Report from BLAST conference


Mr. James Chaney, EOC Chair reported on the trip to the BLAST conference, which was outstanding containing a plethora of information, learning opportunities and times for socializing. He shared that this opportunity should be made available every year and open to operators and Agency representatives, including Commissioners. Mr. Chaney stated he came away with new information about how the operator works, how the Agency works and how to better his business. He added that this should become mandatory training for operators.


Ms. Hazell Brooks observed that there was overwhelming camaraderie between the operators and Agency staff from other states. She added that she came away with more information on set asides, how that money is spent and steps on how to implement spending plans, buying in bulk and getting rebates and, she added, she learned that the BEP Program, as a whole nationally, is one of the largest groups in terms of buying power. Ms. Brooks thanked the Merchants for providing the transportation to BLAST and giving the operators who did attend the opportunity to do so.


Mr. Terry Eagle, also attended BLAST, although he’s not an operator. He shared that many of the attendees he visited with remembered when Michigan was one of the top programs and now Michigan is the butt of jokes at the conference. Mr. Eagle echoed Mr. Chaney’s plea to allow all the operators to attend these conferences. He personally thanked the individuals in the room who assisted him in attending the conference. Finally, Mr. Eagle shared that he left the conference feeling at home with fellow attendees.


Commissioner Posont commented that the next BLAST conference will be held in Chicago and it would be great if more operators would be able to attend.


BEP Report


Ms. Constance Zanger, Business Enterprise Program Manager reported on the new BEP training class just finishing and stated that participants will be beginning on-the-job training the next week. Ms. Zanger gave updates on her written report including two BEP graduates from the June 2011 training class having accepted facilities, the BEP Program releasing their lease on the YMCA, the starting of the Secretary of State remodel and the utilization of temporary operators and keeping their set aside fees up to date. Ms. Zanger added that a new hire opportunity for a BEP Promotional Agent has been approved.


Discussion included questions on the current food service operation trainers the Agency has been utilizing, when the Promotional Agent position was requested and that there was no discussion at last weekend Elected Operators Committee meeting. There was also discussion about the make-up of blind and sighted temporary operators and placement of these individuals.

There was specific discussion on the issues of graduates of the June 2010 class and if there are problems because of their perceived lapse of training. Ms. Zanger reported staff is currently reviewing spreadsheets to see what, if any, further training needs to be made available to those specific operators, although additional training is always available to all operators if needed.


Elected Operators Committee Report (EOC)


Mr. James Chaney, Elected Operator Committee Chair added information about the training of the June 2010 class and the need to move forward based on the needs expressed in the surveys from those students. He also stated that the EOC needs to go in to sites and evaluate BEP sites to see if the sites aren’t making money or if it’s an operator not making money. Mr. Chaney praised James Hull for supporting a new procedure of holding a “customer appreciation/meet the operator” event when a new operator takes over a facility. He shared the operators are expected to come up with a written plan which includes what, when, the cost and the follow up plan. Mr. Chaney also stated that the EOC Ad Hoc committee has been addressing the need of operators coming to the EOC for help when it is needed.


All the EOC motions presented were “information only” for the Board.


Discussion was held about the new BEP position that was approved, whether this position was talked about at the EOC meeting held the previous weekend and why a Promotional Agent was being hired over a BEP Trainer. There was an extended discussion regarding promotional agents and balancing site visits, paperwork, monitoring and upholding the rules and regulations of the Randolph Sheppard Act and the Business Enterprise Program. Commissioner Posont expressed his opinion that a trainer is more crucial to be hired than another promotional agent. Commissioner Schuck added that she thinks the Agency is rushing to fill positions that have been vacated because of dismissal before there is resolution to the matter. There was also a discussion about the extent of the training that promotional agents go through. Director Cannon responded that filling the promotional agent position was a response of meetings held with the EOC Ad Hoc Committee where the need for more involvement and support from promotional agents was expressed. Commissioner Posont asked if the EOC can hold a meeting to discuss the filling of the BEP Trainer position.


Commissioners asked to discuss the catering issue and having three tiers of training and certification. Staff indicated that this has been discussed in meetings but has not gone any further than those initial meetings. Mr. Chaney shared that the operators feel that they go through the catering training but still have to deal with what he termed “illegal” caterings in their buildings. Director Cannon added that after a meeting with Deputy Director Arwood there was talk of creating standards and a special endorsement or certification for operators who were ready to do catering.


Mr. Rob Essenberg, Chair of the EOC Ad Hoc Committee, thanked the Commissioners for giving him the opportunity to speak. He noted that the Ad Hoc committee has had some very lively discussions in the last year and a half to two years and there are some viable solutions as a result. He added that Mr. Eagle will be compiling the recommendations as a result of all these meetings, which will be available soon. Mr. Essenberg said the latest conversations centered around creating a three tier ranking system for locations, with each tier having certification requirements that have to be met before allowing the next tier to be bid on. He added that the training component would be a modular system possibly based at the Training Center. He also touched upon the need for an individual to be in charge of equipment control for the BEP program, overseeing repairs, warehouse control, and equipment returns. Mr. Essenberg said that catering would be part of the modular system.


Commissioner Scott asked what was going to be done about the illegal catering. Mr. Chaney stated there were no repercussions for violators in PA 260. He added being competitive starts with operators receiving the right training and the correct equipment.


Terry Eagle – Board Correspondence


Mr. Terry Eagle gave a verbal report on correspondence that he had sent to the Board. He apologized for his outburst earlier, but added that the Ad Hoc Committee has not been informed of any direction which the Agency intended to take with respect to filling the position, stating that the staff lied and was disingenuous. Mr. Eagle called for the immediate dismissal of Ms. Zanger and Director Cannon. He then went on to reference correspondence he had sent to the Board which was a multi-step proposal designed to address the need for BEP training. He went on to say that it’s time the Agency hired blind people who were already skilled to provide this training. Mr. Eagle talked about equipment repairs or the lack thereof. He then spoke about BEST and how it would be better used then going to hearings.


Mr. Eagle addressed the temporary operator list and how sighted people who aren’t even on the list are being asked to fill in as temporary operators. He asked the Commissioners to consider new management from the top down.


Administrative Law Judge Order for Dismissal – Hazell Brooks


Commissioners asked for clarification on what was to be done on this ALJ Recommendation. Director Cannon stated that the Commissioners need to take some action to affirm the dismissal in order for Ms. Brooks to take any further legal action in her best interest. The ALJ did not have jurisdiction, as stated in the Order, because there was never any dollar amount stated in the claim to be awarded.


Schuck Moved TO AFFIRM THE ALJ ORDER OF DISMISSAL FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION; seconded by Scott


Discussion: There was no discussion.


THE MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


Administrative Law Judge Recommendation – Mark Rothenhauser


Commissioner Posont reviewed the recommendation of the ALJ which is to revoke Mr. Rothenhauser’s license. He stated that it bothered him that it took 24 months for the Agency to respond.


SCOTT MOVED TO AFFIRM THE ALJ RECOMMENDATION IN THE ROTHENHAUSER CASE; SHUCK SECONDED.


Discussion: Discussion included the steps the Agency took for the revocation process. Commissioner Scott discussed exhibits and the Judges actions.


THE MOTION DID NOT PASS WITH ALL COMMISSIONERS VOTING NAY


SCHUCK MOVED THAT THE BOARD REJECT THE ALJ RECOMMENDATION IN THE ROTHENHAUSER CASE; SCOTT SECONDED


Discussion: Commissioner Schuck also expressed concern about the two year time frame. Commissioner Posont asked that the Agency utilize the Blind Entrepreneurs Support Team (BEST) and work with Mr. Rothenhauser. Commissioner Scott reiterated his concerns with this case.


THIS MOTION PASSED UANIMOUSLY.


Administrative Law Judge Recommendation – Robyn Kaye


Commissioners asked Ms. Luzenski to read the ALJ recommended decision for this case.


SCOTT MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE ALJ RECOMMENDATION; SCHUCK SECONDED


Discussion: Commissioner Posont shared that the problem with the equipment is an ongoing issue. Commissioner Scott stated he was disturbed by the hearing officer’s report by Mr. Robertson.


THIS MOTION PASSED WITH SCOTT AND SCHUCK VOTING AYE AND POSONT VOTING NAY


Training by Tom Warren


Commissioner Posont gave an overview of his understanding of the role of the Board and a policy making board. Commissioner Schuck asked that if a Board member has knowledge of something in the agency of concern that should be investigated or pursued with facts presented to support the concern where does the Board turn. Mr. Warren explained where the Commission sits within the Department. He explained that if there were difficulties between the Commissioner and staff the logical step is within the chain of command within the Department. Commissioner Scott asked how you direct the Director? Mr. Warren stated that the job of the Commission Board is the policy making body to set the policy goals. The Director’s job is to follow his position description that has been given to him by the Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to the extent there is conflict between what the Board desires to achieve or see accomplished by way of policy and what the MCB Director has by way of resources and abilities may or may not be harmonious from time to time. The Director may not be able to do all that the Board wishes or accomplish things that they set as the policy. He added that friction is going to exist probably all the time to the extent that you, as a Board, are doing your jobs to set high minded goals and he, as Director is doing his job to deal with personalities and training, and budget and functioning within the staff that he has to direct. Mr. Warren stated he has no magic solution as to what and how to resolve that or how you work together towards that, only to say that if it reaches the point to where you cannot find that common ground then the only avenue he sees is that you work within the structure that has been created within the Department you are placed because the Director of LARA directs the Director of the MCB staff.


Public Comment (Verbatim Transcript)


Mr. Joe Harcz (via the phone): This is Joe Harcz and the first thing I have to report is that we weren’t getting any signal at all, I couldn’t hear, about the first 20 minutes. I clocked it at 1:20 when things started to come back in. The second thing I have to say is I have to agree wholeheartedly with Terry Eagle and his comments. Frankly, there’s been just a tremendous amount of lying in documented fashion going on from the agency. We don’t get budget material, we don’t get things with the public, or information to the public in a timely and accessible manner. Business Enterprise Operators don’t get timely delivery of anything and it goes to Robbie’s case she’s expected to pay bills for stuff that was never delivered. She never got those health certificates, but yet she’s supposed to pay money on this. The Agency is not doing it’s job. But one of the fundamental things that is a tremendous, tremendous problem that violates the rights of due process of all blind people in the adjudicatory process is that LARA and the Michigan Administrative Hearing System and the Michigan Commission for the Blind does not effectively communicate with blind people in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 and that’s been clearly documented in every one of these cases. I’m hearing Administrative Law Judges tell people when they request information in accessible form, including advocates like Terry, telling them well don’t you have a reader. Look the obligation is on the entity, the obligation is for the entity to remit this information in a timely and accessible manner. That’s Americans and Disabilities Act subpart E under Title II – Effective Communications. There’s Supreme Court law that courts have to be fully accessible to blind people and other people with other disabilities and that goes to effective communications. It goes to the gross dereliction of duties of this agency overall. I’ve written a bunch of stuff on this, documented it over and over again. The various state actors in Michigan, including the Michigan Commission for the Blind is inaccessible in whole and in part to people who are blind. We have to hold these people accountable, staff and the Director, because the buck stops at the top for implementing our civil rights. There is no due process and there is no equal protection under the law if people can’t access the information relative to their own cases. (Elsie Duell interrupts instructing Mr. Harcz to pull the phone away from his mouth for a clearer sound) I’m sorry, this is frustrating, my comments are out there on the public record, it’s so frustrating because it’s just lunacy. We’re the Commission for the Blind we’re supposed to be accessible to the blind in every activity in every affair and yet we’re not. We’re supposed to be the lead agency. The buck stops at the top. Thank you I’m done.


Ms. Garnett Prentice (via the phone): This is Garnett Prentice. My public comment is I agree with Terry Eagle. As a member of the EOC we ask that for the financial reports, the budget and we never got any information about the budget. As far as I know we never talked about replacing the Promotional Agent, we need another trainer desperately. There’s where we need help. We need a trainer. Just like Terry said the program, we need one bad. These people who are coming in and out of the class, they’re not receiving the training that they need in order to run the locations and we are losing location after location. I was at the EOC meeting and my personal opinion is that we did not do anything, we did not accomplish anything at the EOC and we’re told one thing and then it never happens. And it’s like, I can see where the trust, there is not trust with the agency and operators. I heard don’t trust the Promotional Agents. Some of the operators we want to be independent business people, we want to be, make a living and we want to give back as much as we have received we want to give back. But there are some people, that take, take, take but never give back and always wants the agency to hold their hand. Well sometimes it’s not the agencies fault in a lot, in some cases even though the records show that the agency does do things. But the operator has to be responsible too and with things that go on. We need another session like Mr. Posont is talking about where all of us got together to discuss this. A lot of times operators are afraid to voice their opinion because they’re afraid of consequences and there shouldn’t be consequences because the agency is there to help the operators and these people that are coming out of the training classes they’re not prepared. And spending all that money for McVety and Associates for training, Terry was right they don’t know anything about blindness. Accountability for the warehouse and for equipment and what our expenditures are and how much set asides have been brought in compared to when a lot of the operators retired. Times are hard money is hard to come by and it’s hard to make a buck today nowadays. But we need to be able to talk to each other and share things and we need a trainer desperately. That’s my public comment.


Mr. Fred Wurtzel: Yes, thank you. I’d like to comment about the trainer position issue that was brought up here today. I asked, when I was administrator to have a trainer position for the Business Enterprise program because it’s, in my view, its where everything focuses around. If you don’t have well trained people that creates more problems for the field staff and so the answer to reducing the workload is to have better training for operators and then you don’t have to do all the things that might have to be done as far as compliance and so forth. So we had, under my administration we had two trainers, we had Carol Corneal and John McEntee. And each of them brought special qualities to the job. Carol was outstanding in catering and presentation and those sorts of things. John was outstanding, beyond belief outstanding, in vending machines not to say that John was necessarily bad at one and Carol was bad at the other one and so forth, but each of them had their strengths. John’s strengths brought quick returns in terms of money. Carol if she had remained on her path would have delivered a lot in regard to catering. We were in a program of developing catering, we had staff going to training conferences on occasion, we had operators involved in catering activities. We were working on it. It was a process. We did have meetings with department staff as suggested earlier today and we would have continued to have more of those meetings had we continued on the same path. John saved us a huge amount of money in the program, would have saved probably enough money to hire another person. Unfortunately hiring decisions in government have nothing to do with money, particularly, they have to more to do with politics about how many employees are in state government and we all know that. I think it would be a mistake, a big mistake to be moving away from the trainer position, I think we had promotional agents that have had 30 or 35 facilities to oversee, it’s too many in my view. It was too many in those days, however, it was done with facility and with success. It’s about management. On the management issue we have data processing systems that should be kicking out information about all the things that we were talking about. Who’s paid this, who’s paid that. We have a data processing system here that can provide the information. We should be working on a data driven system with information for promotional agents to use quickly. A lot of things should be able to be resolved by phone calls, and now with cell phones I was advocating for years for field staff to have cell phones, now they have them now. They have lap top computers. A lot of these things can be taken care of at that level. So I strongly, strongly, recommend that we continue to have a trainer for the Business Enterprise Program. It will produce more quality results then hiring 3 or 4 more promotional agents. Thank you.


Mr. Dave Robinson: Dave here ladies and gentlemen, Commissioners and guests. My comment is, I actually have three different comments to make. One is on that position that is being opened is correct that on the third of December at the EOC meeting there was no mention of that to be contemplated by the Program managers report. It was never even heard of until I mentioned it in my public comment at the end of the meeting. And again, the other thing is, I just want you to keep in mind in the civil service status of positions, the promotional agent position is a higher grade level than the trainer position and why are they going after a position that you have to pay more for when what is really cried for is a position that you can pay less for and I believe that this promotional agent position is going after because there is specifically somebody tagged for that position already in mind. The other comment I had is that on these ALJ decisions and when you are Commissioner and dealing with those ALJ decisions you see what is black and white but often times black and white doesn’t tell the story. You, because ALJ’s have their opinions and their biases and they can slant things a certain way and accept documents and not accept documents in a variety of situations so you’re not really getting the true story. So if you don’t want to listen to the different sides here you ought to do your due diligence in terms of research on these cases in terms of talking to both sides and reading the documents before coming in and making a decision. Because now based on the vote you made today on Robbie Kaye’s decision you basically affirmed the fraudulent activity of the agency and is now subject to being sued for fraud by this operator. And I also agree with Terry and Joe on the issues relative to the ad hoc committee. I think there’s some great ideas out there, I think we can move forward on a lot of good things that could happen if the philosophy was correct and I think that we really got to pay attention to what is going to be the philosophy of this agency. What are we here for, what are we supposed to be doing. And we need to be here for the blind people of Michigan and we got to make sure that the bureaucrats in this State understand that’s why they’re receiving the $26 million dollars to affect employment for blind people not to throw people out of jobs.


Mr. Mark Rothenhauser: Thank you very much. Board members thank you very much for letting me stay on here. I wanted to mention today about the 6 or 7 years that I’ve been involved over at the Capitol building I have never stopped singing the praises of the BEP program and MCB. This is been evidenced, a couple years ago, I believe you folks had a big birthday celebration over at the Capitol and Ms. Turney approached me about getting a cake for this occasion and I went ahead and done that. Part of the problem was that it was determined that there was no money to pay for this cake and, but I thought in the spirit of the whole celebration that I would go ahead and, in effect, eat the cost. So I provided the cake and everything went fine. Another example of me promoting MCB, when our new Governor he had his inaugural celebration on New Years Day, I gave up watching Bowl games, well I usually watch them on New Years Day, I went down to the Capitol and I donated a bunch of hot chocolate to the folks out there and meanwhile while doing that I answered questions about the MCB and did a lot of good promotion then. Customers who come to the snack bar, if they happen to ask about MCB or the BEP I always tell them very good things about it. In effect, I think I’m a very good person to run that joint, or excuse me run that operation. (laugh) that was a slip of tongue. You know it was mentioned that the BEP is the “crown jewel of the program” and I think it could be said the same thing about the operators. However, jewels can sometimes get tarnished a little bit and when they do, well we need to kind of polish them up, you know, clean them up a little bit. Now, I’ve had a bad couple of years over the BEP in my operation and sales have been down. I got myself in the hole with my set aside fees and I just couldn’t get out of that hole and it just kept getting worse and worse and nothing was being done to help me get out of that hole. Well, I made a determination to get out of that hole and the only reason I requested that hearing from the ALJ is because I was trying to buy a little more time to come up with the $1,200 to pay the BEP, which I did and I have copies of cancelled checks and everything and there’s also been a catering gig that I did for 400 people out on the front lawn in celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was approached to do soda, subs and chips for this event which was a lot of, lot of work for 400 people. I mean I was making subs all night the night before. But the event went well and the Director of the event she was so impressed by my work that she sent a rather lengthy congratulatory email to Ms. Zanger and not only did it mention the good work I did but she was impressed with the BEP Program as well. Ms. Zanger wrote in response to that email that this was indicative of all the operators. So in closing I’d like to say that I look forward to working with the BEP and the BEST time on how to restore that Capitol to its glory. And Constance, you know I’d just like to say please work with me, I will work with you and let’s make that place great.


Mr. Joe Sontag: Joe Sontag, or Blind Joey Dumb Donkey to be polite as I’m known to some of my friends as my alter ego in this program anymore. Anyway, first off I’m not going to accuse anyone of lying, I do want to provide a little bit of information you do want to take my word for, in the interest of perspective and keeping things straight, on the issue of promotional agent versus trainer in my opinion we definitely need a trainer and here’s where the history comes in just a little bit and there are people in this room who know it better than I do. When I became active in the program in the very late 80’s we had effectively five cafeteria specialist that was working with the program at the time. Similarly at the same time we had at least 100 locations in this program. Locations ranging in complexity to the traditional ancient stereotype blind stand, so to speak. The little cubby hole in the post office lobby to cafeteria operations which would blow the mind in terms of what was done and what needed doing on a daily or hourly basis. So while the (inaudible) is not unimportant, as Fred said, it’s a matter of management very much so. In those days, the promotional agents did not have cell phones, they did not have personal computers, everything was on paper and yet things worked. So, so don’t be taken too far off when weighing those factors. Similarly, you know when an operator approaches the agency for assistance or when the operator finds out the hard way that, hey, hey sucker there’s a problem here or sorry if you thought you were doing okay but you’re really not and your fats in the fire. I don’t know how many other operators have experienced this but if my case is any indication regarding my promotibility or serious lack thereof these days, the best I’ve been able to accomplish was a situation where I we go into a discussion, whether it be an informal meeting or profit percentage review with the operator receiving no documentation whatsoever being expected to take the word of a staff member for every claim made. “oh your problem is your food cost is too high” or “your problem is I don’t care what you thought even though you may have been told by our agent that your profit percentage expectation is 17, it is, in fact 25” and when presented with clear evidence that they were in a better position to confirm or deny that a sister facility was set at 17 they say “no you’re wrong, I’ve always believed it to be 25 and so it is. Not only that but the previous operator was submitting reports that showed 25 percent profit performance.” So this is what we get, when you’ve got this sort of thing going on. I have not done this agency dirt, I agree with everything being said about the BEP being the crown jewel and the operators being a part of that set. But, we’re not only tarnished, jewelry can sometime be broken and our jewels are broken and they’re in desperate need of repair. Thank you.


Ms. Mary Ann Robinson: I want to mention that early on when BEP management was giving the report they said they didn’t know about who was asked to help with training in the 2010 class, Fred Wurtzel was asked, he offered to help and he was very qualified to help with training. The BEP turned him down and it was my understanding the class that turned out was one of the worst that they had. I believe, from what I heard from lots of people in the BEP, the management has dropped the ball in regards to catering, they should support the operator, our legislators are not above the law, if they break it and go outside for catering Pat Cannon and Constance Zanger need to back their operators. They have not done that. They know about promotional agents who had facilities and did the job, Dave Robinson was one of those and who do operators call now for help, him because they know that he knows the program inside and out. Why don’t they go to management? Because many of them have lost respect, have lost trust of the BEP management because they don’t tell the truth. I’ve been coming to these meetings for years and I hear about mistake, after mistake, after mistake that BEP makes over and over and over again. I’ve worked for years, if I made as many mistakes in my job as they have made I would’ve been dismissed after a couple and I can’t even count the number that we’ve heard. And the number of lawsuits and the number of hearings and they will continue until the management of the BEP changes. Thank you.


SCOTT MOVED TO ADJOURN; POSONT SECONDED.


THE MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


The meeting adjourned at 4:24 p.m.


MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND
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Michigan commission for the blind staff present iconG1 Present Simple/ Present Continuous G2

Michigan commission for the blind staff present icon1 staff 4 Teaching Staff 4

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