Board has questions for Crossroads

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021

Prince Edward County is withholding funds from the Crossroads Community Services Board until they get some answers from Crossroads Executive Director Dr. Susan Baker.

Board of Supervisor Chairperson David Emert asked County Administrator Doug Stanley to request Baker attend the board’s Tuesday, April 13, meeting. The move comes after Emert attended a recent Crossroads board meeting. He was not impressed.

“I’ve been in thousands, I guess, if not more meetings – chaired a bunch of them, and I have never been in a meeting in my life that was as crazy as that meeting. Never. Including the Army,” Emert said. “Unorganized, board members correcting other board members in the middle of the meeting and calling out the chairperson, the chairperson asking for certain things they couldn’t get. It was an absolute disaster.”

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Baker responded to the news the board is withholding funding by saying the county could not make that decision.

“This is an unfortunate turn of events. I was not asked to attend the April 7 meeting and would have been happy to do so. Instead I was asked to a future meeting,” Baker said. “The county’s funding of Crossroads is required by the Code of Virginia. I sincerely hope we can resolve the matter at the next Board of Supervisors meeting. The impact to services in Prince Edward County and to our entire region will be catastrophic if Prince Edward County chooses to pull out of state-sponsored mental health, substance abuse and developmentally disability services.”

Crossroads Community Services is requesting a $60,000 allocation in the 2021-22 budget. That is the same amount the organization received in this year’s budget.

Emert was at the Crossroads board meeting to find out what was going to happen with the housing of patients in houses rented by Crossroads in Prince Edward County. He said Baker did not have a plan but said she would not kick any patients out on the street. Emert told the Crossroads board he would recommend the Prince Edward Board of Supervisors not fund the Crossroads allocation unless the supervisors are given clarity about what is happening with the organization’s housing plans. The housing is set to end June 30 according to the Board of Supervisors.

At least one other county in the organization’s seven-county area is also withholding funds until questions can be answered, according to Emert.