Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) is one of 20 Community Centered Boards (CCBs) in Colorado that provide services to individuals with Intellectual/
Developmental Disabilities. RMHS is able to provide these services through funding it receives from federal, state, and local government sources. Immediately after the Denver City Auditor released a report in December, questions and concerns about RMHS’ transparency and accountability surfaced. The public wanted more information on how RMHS was using taxpayer funds.
I welcome these questions and the opportunity to create a more open and inclusive environment. We have a duty and responsibility to those we serve and to the taxpayers who fund those services. As a steward of these public dollars, we are ready and prepared to close the information gap through greater partnerships with stakeholders and through honesty, integrity and transparency.
The word “transparency” means to operate in such a way that it is easy to see what actions are performed and implies openness, communication, and accountability. We can and will do better in this area. We are in the process of redefining what we share with the public and taxpayers, who deserve information on how our funding is being used to support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We are constantly looking to the future to find ways to improve our service and delivery system, and we invite the community to share your ideas to help us improve. I also think we have made a tremendous amount of progress in this area. We are working with stakeholders to learn what information is useful, timely and relevant to them. I am committed to meeting with individuals, families, funders, elected officials and contractors to gain a detailed understanding of stakeholders’ information needs, to synthesize that information, and then to work to address information gaps efficiently and effectively.
Through this process, I hope to influence an open and accountable RMHS; to continuously engage with all who wish to have a better understanding of our work - and to ensure that every stakeholder is heard and has an opportunity for meaningful engagement. Already, these efforts have resulted in great rewards. I am consistently and pleasantly surprised by the insight and ideas, responsiveness and willingness to help that our stakeholders offer when given the opportunity, and am encouraged to know there are so many in our community who appreciate what we do and are willing to support us moving forward.
I also understand that transparency is a bit risky and may come with a price. Some may not like decisions that are made; there is more work for staff in providing timely information and reports and there will certainly be a lot more questions to answer! My fears are allayed, however, when I see the positive difference that honesty, open communication and increased information is having within our communities.
Overall, I am tremendously proud of the work we are doing here at RMHS. I feel fortunate to be a member of the RMHS team; we have such important work to accomplish. Work that would not be possible without a community that is amazingly dedicated and passionate about the children and adults we are privileged to serve.