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Examiner
  • Financial review of COMBAT positive

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  • Jackson County’s anti-drug efforts are generally run at a lower adminsitrative cost than similar programs elsewhere, county legislators were told Monday.
    The county’s COMBAT tax – community-based anti-drug tax – is a quarter-cent sales tax that goes for drug-use prevention and treatment as well as police, prosecutor and court costs.
    The county had RubinBrown, an accounting firm, conduct a “financial accountabilty review” of COMBAT.
    “We looked at the administrative programs. ... We looked at the process to allocate funds,” said Rick Feldt, a partner in the company’s Business Advisory Services Group.
    The manager of that group, Daniel Holmes, said those who reviewed the program were “comfortable with the financial accountability and controls” in COMBAT.
    COMBAT, which the voters have renewed several times over the years, in 2013 brought in $19.3 million. Here’s where that money went:
    • Drug-prevention programs – $1.7 million. “COMBAT has a very robust (request-for-proposal) process” to solicit and evaluate applicants, Holmes said.
    • Drug-treatment agencies – $2.8 million.
    • Funds to match grants – $1.8 million.
    • The DARE youth education program – $1 million.
    • The Jackson County Drug Task Force – $1.9 million.
    • Jackson County Circuit Courts – $2.2 million.
    • Corrections – $2.7 million.
    • Drug Court – $1 million.
    • The Kansas City Police Department – $1.7 million.
    • The Jackson County prosecutors’s office – $2.5 million.
    The program’s administrative costs in 2012 were 8.8 percent of funds for programs such as DARE, treatment and prevention, and that figure was 10.2 percent or lower each year from 2009 through 2012, the accountants said.
    Also Monday, a resolution by Legislator Bob Spence, R-Lee’s Summit, to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes died for lack of a second.
    Spence chuckled and said, “Going, going, gone” as his motion was offered but received no support from the other six legislators in attendance. There is legislation in the Missouri General Assemby to legalize marijuana, and Spence said it’s important to be on the record against that.
    He also pointed to the contradiction of the county spending millions to fight drugs while other officials might want to loosen the rules. Spence said he’ll try again on his resolution when legislators meet next Monday.

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