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Mental Health Merger

As a psychiatric social worker who recently retired from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department after 17 years of service, it is my impression that Steve Kaplan is being wrongly targeted for punishment following the breakdown of the merger between the Public Social Services Administration and Behavioral Health.

Steve researched the options quite carefully and in fact proposed that Behavioral Health become free-standing from the Health Care Agency as a first choice before considering a merger of the two agencies.

Indeed, it is my impression that Steve’s punishment comes from the fact that he attempted to move away from the dictatorial control of the Health Care Agency. Now that he is under control of that agency again, he has been put on leave to demonstrate that any Behavioral Health director who attempts to exercise creativity and use his own imagination in planning behavioral health sciences will be gotten rid of. Randy Feltman’s fate is a previous example of this.

I wish to voice my support for Steve Kaplan and request the policies of the Health Care Agency in regard to Behavioral Health be seriously and carefully reviewed.

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THOMAS McGEE, Oxnard


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