Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the status of the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement and the Bylaws documents?

The JPA Agreement was signed and submitted to the Secretary of State effective July 1, 2009. The agreement was revised and approved in 2010. The original signatories and parties to the agreement are made of six Counties: Colusa, Monterey, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Solano, and Stanislaus. The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) was established.

The Bylaws were approved at the July 2010 CalMHSA Board meeting.

2. How will the JPA programs be funded?

The members are in control. Meaning they approve the programs (and program budget) to participate in and the intent is the programs are self-sustaining. No additional funding will be from the members, unless otherwise approved; therefore the members are in control. An application fee has been developed and approved, of which its future use is undefined and could be used to offset start- up costs.

The initial start-up costs or the costs associated with getting the JPA off the ground consisted of formation fees to CalMHSA and the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) for development of governing documents, legal services, JPA filings, meeting arrangements and participation.

3. Funding and Administrative costs of the JPA?

The Formation Committee and succeeding members have agreed to fund the costs of operations until a program is brought into the JPA. Until then, the administrative costs will be billed and paid monthly, based on population. At which time, program budgets will be prepared and administrative fees appropriately allocated. The Formation Committee members were not required to pay an application fee.

4. Voting on amendments of the JPA Agreement?

Each member’s Board of Supervisors must finally approve any amendments. The JPA votes to approve the amendments, which is then taken to each Members Board of Supervisors for final approval. In essence, there may be two votes, but performed at different levels. At least one county authorized its Behavioral Health Administrator to approve future amendments of the JPA Agreement, so that county’s board may not need to vote again.

5. JPA Voting?

Measures may be passed by a simple majority of Members present and voting. As to an action that affects only one of the Authority’s Programs, only those Members who represent counties participating in that Program will be counted in determining whether there is a quorum and whether there is approval by a majority.

Upon a motion of any Board Member, seconded by another, passage of a measure by the Board will require approval through a weighted voting procedure based on population.

6. Will the JPA members be protected by insurance?

The JPA has procured necessary Director and Officers insurance. Since all members are working under course and scope the Member County also provides a layer of protection.

Additionally all service providers will be required to provide insurance for liability arising from their work.

7. Bylaws and traveling expense for meetings?

Members will be attending regular meetings at their own expense. Potential amendment may be added in the future to the Bylaws for clarification. Incurred expenses from a Strategic Planning meeting held by the JPA may be considered for reimbursement.

8. Budget?

The Board shall adopt an annual budget by July 1, of each year, with receipt of first draft budget by May 1. The budget shall first be reviewed by the Executive Committee by April 1 of each year. The membership of the Authority shall receive the draft budget by June 1 of each year.

The budget shall be prepared in the composite for the benefit of the Authority, and for each approved or proposed programs of the Authority. The budget shall include sufficient background, methodologies, and support for understanding by the Board and the Authorities members. The budget shall further be detailed to disclose each member’s participation in each program and respective share of each program.

The budget shall be sufficiently detailed to coincide with standards of which the Authority’s financial statements are prepared. This shall include the allocable share of administrative costs. Any revisions of the budget can be approved by the Executive Committee, as long as; the revisions are within the original appropriations approved by the Board. All other revisions shall only be approved by the Board.

9. What happens in the event of a member leaving the JPA?

The withdrawal or expulsion of any member, from any program, after the effective date of such program, does not allow the termination of its responsibility to contribute its share of contributions to any fund or program created by the Authority. All current and past members shall be responsible for their respective share of the expenses, until all unpaid liabilities, covering the member’s participation in the program have been resolved and a determination of final amount if payments due by, or credit to the member.

The same provision/consideration is applicable from the broader JPA prospective as well. Thus any withdrawing member is liable for any costs while being a member.

10. What should the letter to the Board of Supervisors contain?

The letter should request BOS authorization for the County Mental Health Director (MHD) to participate in the JPA. The letter should authorize the MHD and his/her alternate to represent the County on the JPA Board of Directors to jointly develop and fund mental health and education programs as determined on a regional, statewide, or other basis. The letter should request BOS to approve the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement of the JPA.

11. County Options for Implementing Statewide PEI Programs under Information Notice 10-05

Option 1 – A County may act jointly with one or more other Counties to implement a statewide program through CalMHSA, a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). (DMH Information Notice 10-06) Enclosure C applies to this option). This option requires amendment of the County’s MHSA Agreement

Option 3 – A County may assign funds to DMH to fund a contract between DMH and California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) for the development and implementation of one or more of the three statewide programs. (DMH Information Notice 10-05) Enclosure 1 applies to this option). This option does not require amendment of the County’s MHSA Agreement.

12. For the Statewide PEI projects, does the 15% administration cost limit include the cost for evaluation or is that an additional indirect cost?

A maximum of fifteen percent (15%) of any and all funds that counties have assigned to and or delegated to CalMHSA for the purpose of funding the development and implementation of Statewide PEI programs by CalMHSA can be utilized for indirect administrative costs, including the cost of evaluation.

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"The last great stigma of the twentieth century is the stigma of mental illness."

— Tipper Gore


Artwork by: Lara Connie