Stone County Developmental Disability Board Begins Work
This is the first installment of monthly updates on the progress of the Stone County Developmental Disability Board. The board is currently comprised of 8 members who are: Mindy Smolnik, chair; Sue Tanner, vice-chair; Ruby Gideon, secretary, Sean Gasper, treasurer, and general members- Jeremy Rouch, Tina Essick, Malissa Johnson, and Anne Coleman. It has been necessary for the board to meet twice each month to attend to the fundamental business of setting up a new board. Important documents have been finalized to guide the work of the board and to set policies and procedures for funding requests. There is current information on the board’s website, stoneddboard.com, and also on the board’s facebook page, “Stone County Developmental Disability Board.”
The board was appointed by the Stone County Commissioners after the approval of Stone County voters on November 8, 2016. It operates within the guidelines of Senate Bill 40 (SB40) by allowing Stone County to collect a small county-wide property tax for the establishment of support services for those with developmental disabilities. These support services may include therapeutic services, employment services, respite care for families, children’s services, transportation, and a day program.
An office has been established at the lower level of the Brooks Center in Branson West, MO and the address is 15765 State Highway 13, Suite 7. The mailing address is: SCDDB, P. O. Box 2383, Branson West, MO 65737. The board currently meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at the office location. Meetings are open to the public and notice of the meetings may be found on the website or through a link on the Stone County Missouri webpage that goes directly to the board’s website.
Four standing committees have been established which are: Facilities, marketing, finance, and utilization review. Short and long term goals are in the process of being formulated for the coming year and include exploration of transportation options for Stone County, research on pertinent agencies and providers who are or are willing to offer services in Stone County, assessment of the current needs of the individuals and families that are impacted by developmental disabilities, and responsible expenditure of the tax dollars that are paid by Stone County citizens.
The board appreciates the support of our county and is working on behalf of our citizens to provide the services that are needed. Our board has been assisted by our neighboring counties and their willingness to share information and their experience has moved the board’s work along significantly. The board strives to be receptive to the needs of our county and encourages public comment through attendance at a meeting, visiting with a board member, or comments sent through the mail. The board expects this first year to be a year of growth and important first steps towards meeting the needs of the developmentally disabled and their families. Sincere appreciation goes to the voters of our county who made the Stone County Developmental Disability Board possible.