Bellevue City Council member Phil Noble has been named to the county’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Oversight Committee Panel. The group will ensure wise investment of public funds for diversion of mentally ill and chemically dependent from jails and emergency rooms.
Noble also is a member of the United Way Eastside Multi Services Panel and the King County Committee to End Homelessness. He is a past chair of the Eastside Human Services Forum.
The county panel consists of 15 members that will oversee the programs and services to be funded under the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Action Plan.
“We have limited funds for new treatment programs, and this panel will help us measure if we are successfully promoting recovery and lowering unnecessary and costly involvement in the criminal justice and emergency medical systems,” said King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, chair of the Council’s Operating Budget Committee that is overseeing the implementation of the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Action Plan.
In November, the county enacted a one-tenth of one cent sales tax to fund the strategies and programs outlined in King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Action Plan. The programs are designed to stabilize people suffering from mental illness and chemical dependency. One emphasis is to provide treatment for those cycling through jails and emergency rooms.
The oversight panel will provide recommendations on the implementation and effectiveness of the programs funded through the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) sales tax. The full 30-member committee will consist of individuals with backgrounds in mental health and alcohol and drug dependency treatment, as well as representatives of the King County Sheriff, County Prosecutor, Harborview Medical Center and the Committee to End Homelessness in King County.
The committee’s responsibilities include:
· Reviewing emerging and evolving priorities for use of the MIDD sales tax funds,
· Providing a forum for coordination and collaboration between the agencies involved in implementing the MIDD sales tax-funded programs,
· Educating the public, policymakers and stakeholders on MIDD sales tax-funded programs, ongoing needs, strategies and outcomes, and
· Coordinating the sharing of information with other related efforts and ongoing groups such as the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, the Veterans and Human Services Levy Service Improvement Plan, and the county Recovery Plan.