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Southeastern Center's area director retiring

READ MORE: Southeastern Center's area director retiring
The man in the middle of Southeastern Center's mental health budget crisis says he is stepping down. After 30 years of service working in mental health, Doctor Art Costantini plans to retire. Fourteen of those years were at Southeastern Center for Mental Health. Costantini served as area director. He says despite the budget crisis most recently, he had planned to retire since last fall, but that was put on hold. A committee is conducting a nation wide search to find his replacement. Dr Costantini says the committee plans to look for candidates who have a strong background in finance and budgeting. Recently we told you about Senator Julia Boseman's request to have Southeastern's finances audited. Costantini says he's not worried about what the audit will show. "I welcome the audit, because I know that we didn't do anything wrong or inappropriate," said Constantini. Dr. Costantini says he's confident the audit will show that the money allotted for mental health was spent on necessary services. The search for Costantini's area director's position could take three to six months. He plans to stay on until his replacement is hired.

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Didn't do anything wrong or inappropriate?????

You went 33% over your annual budget! That's not wrong? That's not inappropriate? Way to step up to the plate and take responsibility! "We didn't do anything wrong..." I don't care how "necessary" those services were, when you are maxing out your budget you don't say "Full speed ahead, to hell with the taxpayers!" You go back to the state and get additional funding.....and if none is available, you shut down to emergency operations only until you do get money allocated! "Dr Costantini says the committee plans to look for candidates who have a strong background in finance and budgeting." Thank God! Perhaps they should have done that fourteen years ago.....? God save us from public officials who make immense bookkeeping errors and then simply retire, claiming that it is no big deal. Did you attend school with that brain trust from the county tax office who computed a budget based upon taxes that would never materialize?

IS there a chance this man

IS there a chance this man was attempting to take care of the individuals in the area that would suffer tremendously without services. Nah, that couldn't be the case. This is an easy accusation for those of you who have never had a mental health emergency, had a loved one suffer from such, or work daily with those who have!!! You can't always look at things from a business stand point. Without such services, the jails may be overbudget as well.

That doesn't fly

First, I mentioned that when you are out of money, you cut back to EMERGENCY services only - so anyone with a "mental health emergency" would still be cared for. The bottom line is that caring for the patients does not negate the need to be a good steward of the taxpayers' money. You have to be capable and competent at balancing BOTH requirements, or you're simply not the right person for the job.