HASTINGS – On Friday, Mayor Corey Stutte, Senators Steve Halloran and Dave Murman, and City Council Members Butch Eley and Ted Schroeder were in attendance for a listening session to hear how the Hastings Regional Center employees feel about the impending move of their program to Lincoln and the YRTC girls from the Geneva Center moving to the regional center.
The substance abuse program will be moved to Whitehall in Lincoln, which is for juvenile sex offenders, in October. They say that miscommunication and mistrust of their supervisors and the Department of Health and Human Services has caused a lot of problems.
Mayor Corey Stutte says they are also experiencing that lack of communication.
I’ve spoken with the Mayor of Geneva and they really do believe they have the opportunity to house those girls. The state just recently put about 480,000 dollars into the facilities down there and they feel confident that they’d be able to staff this if it was run correctly. Likewise, I’ve spoken to some folks in Kearney, from their city government there. And they’ve been left in the dark about a lot of these issues as well. But we just want to make sure that there’s a strategic look taken at this and they construct a facility that’s meant to house YRTC.
Employees say that their program is different from YRTCs because they are dealing with kids who have substance abuse and mental health issues as opposed to kids who may have violent tendencies and other issues. There were also concerns that the same problems at the Geneva YRTC will occur at the Hastings Regional Center.
The employees want there to be more oversight of the DHHS and the Department of Administrative Services and more local control in the decision making process. There were plenty of other suggestions as well.