News Details

Gloucester County to Regionalize Mental Health Administrator with Salem County

(Woodbury, NJ) - Another area of regionalization to save taxpayers' dollars will be voted on during the May 19, 2010 Freeholder meeting.  Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi announced that Gloucester County plans to enter into a Shared Service Agreement with Salem County to provide a Mental Health Administrator.

Freeholder Director Sweeney said that Dr. Kathleen Spinosi, who has served as Gloucester County's Mental Health Administrator since 1989, will also serve as Mental Health Administrator for Salem County, saving Gloucester County over $30,000 a year.

"The point of sharing services is to save money without compromising services, and that what will be doing by sharing a Mental Health Administrator.  Dr.  Spinosi is well respected within her field and she already has many links with the agencies and service providers within both counties so it makes sense to share her expertise, along with her salary with Salem County," said Freeholder Director Sweeney.

Director Sweeney said that the costs of salary and benefits of the Mental Health Administrator will be shared between the parties, and that Dr. Spinosi would remain an employee of Gloucester County. 

Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi, Jr. said that the Mental Health Administrator's Office answers referral calls on mental health concerns and is available by direct assistance to citizens in need and their families.  "Dr. Spinosi is a tremendous resource to the mental health community and to our citizens.  She brings with her many years of experience and she will help save administrative costs to both Gloucester County and Salem County taxpayers," stated Freeholder Brigandi. 

"Gloucester County is in a position where we have a professional who can provide administrative services to both our counties and saves taxpayer dollars," Brigandi said.  Freeholder Brigandi is the Liaison to the Department of Education and Disability Services, which includes the Mental Health Administrator's Office.  Brigandi said that by continuing to share services and regionalizing, government can continue to perform vital services without further burden on the taxpayers.

"We have shared service agreements for administration among our GCIT and Special Services School District and it works.  We now have a regionalized County Assessor's Office and many other shared programs.  I have full confidence that a Shared Mental Health Administrator will be a good fit for both counties," said Brigandi.

"During these difficult economic times we must work to ensure that government exhausts every opportunity for cost-savings to ensure effective and efficient government services," said Salem County Freeholder Director Lee R. Ware. "Salem County has a great partnership with Gloucester and we are confident that this new endeavor will build upon our successes."

"Our Social Services Department will benefit from the expertise and experience of Dr. Spinosi," said Freeholder Benjamin Laury, Chair of the Salem County Social Services Committee. "Not only will this arrangement save both counties money, but it will provide an enhanced services and open additional opportunities for joint partnerships."

Dr. Spinosi will work with the Mental Health Advisory Boards in both counties and continue her responsibilities equally among Gloucester and Salem Counties.