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Aldona WosThere’s new word today that state DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and her staff continue to display a laser-like focus on one of the key challenges facing her multi-billion dollar state agency: business letter formatting.

In an apparent follow-up to April’s three-page directive that spelled out how DHHS employees should sign their names on emails and threatened discipline for those failing to comply, one of Wos’ employees in the Division of Medical Assistance distributed a detailed memo yesterday on the proper way to format business letters. It specified that letters should feature the following:

“*Times New Roman 11 point font
*Date centered on the second line of the letterhead
*Address, greeting and paragraphs should be justified left, block style Read More

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Lest you think the drumbeat of criticism about the absurd salaries being paid by HHS Secretary Aldona Wos to two young graduates of the McCrory campaign is a partisan or ideological matter, check out this recent exchange between John Hood of the Locke Foundation and conservative Raleigh radio host Bill LuMaye that took place on Monday afternoon.

After being asked his views on “salary-gate,” Hood said that both Matthew McKillip and Ricky Diaz were “very promising” “young men” whom he would consider hiring at the Locke Foundation if given the opportunity, but that he would never consider hiring them at anywhere near the salaries being paid to them by Wos:

“I would not hire them at salaries in the 80,000 range. It would be, you know, less than half that amount. And I just cannot imagine a justification for this decision — not just on the merits but also the political optics.”

He then went on to question the administration’s ongoing attempts to defend the salaries:  Read More

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The disturbing DHHS salary story continues to spin like an out-of-control washing machine, flinging dirty laundry far and wide. Recent media highlights/lowlights include:

Raleigh’s N&O reported this morning that the young staffers at the center of the controversy are making salaries comparable to their predecessors in the Perdue administration, but that the Perdue people had significantly more experience.

Meanwhile, a Wilmington Star-News editorial criticized the McCrory administration with respect to several aspects of the story.

Also, in case you missed it, WNCN (NBC 17) in Raleigh reported that it tried to interview Secretary Aldona Wos in Greenville on Friday about the issue. The story that resulted included this rather remarkable conclusion: Read More

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Aldona WosIs anyone else out there starting to get the impression that North Carolina DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos is bit of a…a…how shall I put this?

A control freak?

First, it was the ill-fated dress code edict. Then it was the rather remarkable comment about the “danger” of government transparency.

And now it’s… Signature-gate!

As of next Monday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Servces will apparently have a new, official three-page policy specifying how Department employees will sign their names on emails.

As you can see by clicking here, we are not making this up.

According to the document obtained by NC Policy Watch, as of April 22, DHHS employees must comply with the “DHHS Email Signature policy.” Read More

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

Since the Great Recession and well-into the economic recovery, the state’s commitment to the well-being and safety of North Carolinians has wavered. The current FY2012-13 state budget provides the proof because it falls far short of investing adequately in the health, safety, education, and economic security of families and their children in the state. The budget’s shortcomings in the health and human services (HHS) infrastructure affect North Carolinians at nearly every life stage and can literally impact their longevity and vitality.

HHS funding aims to ensure that the state’s future citizens thrive early, seniors have access to quality and affordable health care, people with disabilities have the supports they need to contribute to their communities, and that food consumed by diners is safe. The HHS budget totals nearly $4.7 billion, making up 23 percent of the total General Fund budget. And, funding for this section of the budget is down by 8.3 percent compared to pre-recession levels (FY2007-08). The figures below highlight the top 3 ways the HHS budget is falling behind anticipated demand for services. Read More