Spring Statement: Hammond reveals where taxpayers’ billions are being spent on extra homes

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Spring Statement: Hammond reveals where taxpayers’ billions are being spent on extra homes previous nextHousing MarketSpring Statement: Hammond reveals where taxpayers’ billions are being spent on extra homesChancellor updates Parliament on government’s plans to build 300,000 homes every year by the mid 2020s.Nigel Lewis13th March 201801,428 Views Philip Hammond updated MPs during his Spring Statement today about the government’s progress towards building more homes in the UK and revealed where and how part of the £44 billion committed to the effort is now being spent.This includes £4.1 billion being distributed to 44 “forward thinking” local authorities via the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to help build more homes, and that £220 million is to be spent on supporting small house builders.Also, London is to have £1.67 billion to spend on 27,000 additional affordable homes by 2020/21.First time buyersThe Chancellor also said that 60,000 first time buyers had been helped on to the property ladder so far by his Stamp Duty changes in last year’s Autumn Budget, which abolished the duty for homes bought by first timers under £300,000.Philip Hammond also referred to the work of Oliver Letwin MP, who is leading a government investigation into why it takes so long for homes to be built.House building delaysIn a letter deposited in the Commons Library, he reveals that his initial investigations blames the ‘build out’ stage rather than land banking, which many affordable homes campaigners believe is the real culprit.Instead, Letwin says limited availability of skilled labour, building supplies and capital plus poor logistics, uncooperative utility companies, the challenges of sorting out contaminated land and the slow provision of local transport infrastructure may be to blame.Letwin also suggests that many new homes are not released for sale even though they have been completed for fear of over-supplying the market and reducing prices, and giving competitor developers in the area a chance to compete on price and housing size or style.He also questions whether large sites, which enable developers to control local markets for new-builds, are as good for the housing market as small sites developed by small and medium-size builders.‘Missed a trick’ –  Cater Jonas“It is encouraging to hear in the Spring Statement that 60,000 first time buyers have benefited from the Stamp Duty relief announced in the autumn; however, this hasn’t as yet had a positive effect on transaction volumes, which is what the market needs,” says Rory O’Neill, Head of Residential, Carter Jonas (pictured, left).“More needs to be done to alleviate the exorbitant costs of buying a property in order to restore market balance. We continue to question where the support lies for second-steppers – many of whom are desperate to graduate out of their starter home and into a grown-up property.“They constitute the increasingly squeezed middle class, and we hope that a proportion of the much-needed new homes that Hammond continues to pledge will be adequately sized and ring-fenced for these forgotten home-owners looking to secure enough space in which to bring up a family.“The Chancellor has potentially missed a trick in failing to incentivise empty-nesters and prospective downsizers, many of whom retain their four and five-bedroom homes without filling them, at the expense of the second-steppers’ ability to upsize. While the supply of new homes needs to be increased, we also need to better allocate the homes already in existence.”‘Positive news’ – Kay & Co“So, we spring into the house buying season with no significant setbacks from the government,” says Martin Bikhit (pictured, right), Managing Director of Kay & Co.“This is positive news for both buyers, sellers and the industry as a whole.  Economic conditions are showing some improvement, and the sun usually brings the buyers out, so we are ready to greet the season with optimism.“Philip Hammond promised no red box, no official document, no spending increases, no tax changes. No other economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we, he said. For once, a politician is sticking to his word.”Oliver Letwin Philip Hammond housing new build affordable homes Spring Statement March 13, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

ST. VINCENT SIGNS MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT WITH DAVIESS COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

first_imgSt. Vincent has signed a management agreement to operate Daviess Community Hospital in Washington, Indiana. As part of the agreement, the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Daviess will be associates of St. Vincent. The agreement goes into effect April 10, replacing the hospital’s current management agreement with another organization.Tracy Conroy has accepted the position of CEO and will assume this new role in April. Tracy most recently served as Director of Operations for Tri State Community Clinics. Prior to that she was Director of Clinical Services for The Village at Hamilton Pointe, and also served as CEO of Select Specialty Hospital for 11 years.Mandy Rodewald will serve as Interim CFO in April. Mandy currently serves as the Controller and Director of Accounting for Daviess Community Hospital. Prior to joining Daviess in 2013, Mandy served in various Finance roles at St. Mary’s Health, which now goes by the name St. Vincent.The agreement does not involve the purchase of assets, and both systems will remain independent while working collaboratively with physicians, clinicians and other providers delivering care for Washington and the surrounding area.In August 2015, the health systems began working together through a clinical affiliation to implement clinical pathways and protocols for enhanced patient care and improved care coordination. Specialty services such as urology, nephrology, and coordinated perinatal and trauma care were added to the Daviess County area.“This new management agreement continues to strengthen our commitment to providing local access and exceptional care to Daviess County,” said Dan Parod, Interim President of St. Vincent Evansville. “St. Vincent and Daviess Community Hospital continue to work together to seek innovations in care, improve quality and provide greater access to the services Daviess County residents tell us they need.”“The DCH Board of Governors continuously looks for ways to improve our community’s access to the highest quality healthcare and to ensure our staff has all the resources they need to provide the best care possible,” said Daron Steiner, President – Board of Governors of Daviess Community Hospital. “By working more closely with the St. Vincent organization, DCH will be very well prepared to do both.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

FRIDAYS “READERS FORUM”

first_imgWHAT’S ON YOUR MIND TODAY?We are asking our readers to “like us” on Facebook and encourage friends and family to do so, as well? Our next IS IT TRUE will be posted on this coming Friday?If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] “Readers Poll”:Do you feel Council should spend $16 million dollars to renovate North Main area?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

QUESTIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

first_imgLET’S FIX THAT By George Lumley, CPAQUESTIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATESWith the city election coming up does the Evansville electorate care about the knowledge, beliefs, and willingness to lead of the candidates, or is the election just a popularity contest? I thought running a city with a $300 million plus annual combined budget would require a very mature, knowledgeable and skilled group of people. However, with my recent introduction to Evansville’s government, I feel that I am back in junior high. The cliques, better-than-everyone-else attitude, secret note passing, private clubs and rumormongering seem to thrive among the elected and appointed. You say “ewe” can’t change city hall; I say, let’s fix that by electing leaders instead of sheep that follow blindly because they know no better.It is easy to get candidates to speak in general terms as to items that have been in the news. Ask a candidate about a specific project: Do you support the new downtown hotel? The answer will be some general justification: We need to focus on saving our downtown and revitalizing the inner-city. When asked if it will be a big success and profitable venture, they quickly respond: Oh yes, with all the downtown improvements like the convention center, Ford Center, and medical school coming, it will be a big success and highly profitable. Then you ask something a little more complicated: If it will be so profitable, why do you think the private investors pulled their money out of the project, not wanting to risk anything? Then you get the deer-in-the-headlights look, and the candidate is quickly moving to other issues. They don’t even give you the opportunity to ask the really complicated analogy: If it is a 60 million dollar project and the city puts in 25 million as a gift and the other 35 million is a bank loan – isn’t this like filing a bankruptcy reorganization and getting rid of 25 million in debts and equity before the venture even gets started? Why is it a good project for us when we did not even leverage a few private dollars?I was conversing with one candidate and asked for a position on the blight. The response was that he/she didn’t have one – the blight was not an issue at the primary and he/she really didn’t have any interest in it. Wow – so much for getting any details on fighting blight, demolitions, and land banking. I asked the candidate what his/her focus was, and the candidate said it was finance; the budget was out of control and needed to be balanced. I asked how he/she would balance the budget and they looked at me like, well stupid, raise revenues and cut expenses of course. Ok, what revenues are you going to raise and what expenses are you going to cut? Again, the deer-in-the-headlights look.Not one that gives up easily, I thought I would try again with something pertinent to the zombie house cause that I am currently working on. At issue is the fact that money Evansville has received in grants and appropriated out of local funds for the demolition of residential zombie houses is being spent on other things.Some, like the Director of Department of Metropolitan Development, don’t see this as an issue. He told me that not taking out 50 houses five years ago under a grant did not cause the blight problem we have today. Well it did not cause the problem but it sure has contributed to the continued spread. Zombie houses are like apples – one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. If each zombie house contributed to spoiling just one more each year, that would mean that not taking out these fifty houses created 1550 just five years later. With one zombie house nearby, property values drop – no one really knows how much, because there are no longer any sales. No one wants to buy close to the zombie house. Zombie houses kill the value of a neighborhood.Besides the grants, the county has appropriated funding for direct demolitions out of the riverboat fund. Appropriated means that the city council has by law (ordinance) agreed to allow the citizens’ funds to be spent for a particular purpose. The council has appropriated between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year in the last 4 years out of the riverboat fund to be spent on direct residential demolition expenses. Most funds have been spent, but not for residential demolitions as the ordinance (law) requires. For example: In 2014, the city financial statement shows $640,000 to be spent for demolition out of the riverboat funds; however, records obtained through a public access request from the Building Commission show that the city only spent $346,000 on actual residential demolitions. I have not been granted access to additional records yet, but I suspect the additional charges were not legal expenditures of this fund.We have the same problem in 2015. Although not yet provided access to the actual billings of what the expenditures were for, I was able to ascertain that in the first six months of 2015, significant amounts that are not residential demolition expense are being charged or hidden in this riverboat account. Just to make sure other expenses were not allowed by the council, I attended the joint finance committee and a regular city council meeting, and they clarified that only the direct demolition expenses were to be charged to this account.Four items of expense that I could identify without the detailed records were related to a grant for taking down houses in the flood plains. According to the Courier and Press coverage, all of the expenses for the program were to be covered by the grant. So why was approximately $15,000 charged to the riverboat demolitions and not the grant fund. Was this poor accounting or creative accounting to take from this fund while leaving the $15,000 floating in the grant fund to be claimed as “found” money and used for special interest projects?This sounded like a good question for a candidate. So I asked the next candidate I saw: There is an appropriation in the riverboat fund for paying for demolition of zombie houses. The council clarified that only direct demolition costs are to be charged to that fund. Things other than direct demolition are being charged, specifically grant expenditures, that may be illegal expenditures out of the riverboat fund – what do you think about that? Another deer in the headlights.This candidate emailed me the next day with what they apparently considered a better answer. The following is most of what was said:“I am not aware of any misappropriations in the city budget nor do I suspect any. The IN State Board of Accounts has reviewed the city books and given the city of Evansville a clean bill of health. The city also has an excellent credit rating. The Mayor prepares the budget and city council approves it and sometimes approves transfer of funds. I would encourage you to speak with Mayor Winnecke or the City Controller , Russ Lloyd, Jr. to answer any questions you have regarding the city budget. Additionally, Kelley Coures as head of DMD is the appropriate person to answer any questions regarding federal funds and blight elimination. He has been a great wealth of information for the candidates and I am sure would be available to any citizen.”Please people, vote for candidates willing to discuss the issues in depth while displaying that they have the knowledge to lead and not just follow like sheep to slaughter. The election is not a junior high popularity contest, and I hope you are not playing follow the leader but asking questions and making mature decisions. Ask your candidate about why money available for demolition of zombie houses is being spent on other things, and what does he/she intend to do about it? Why do we need to spend millions of dollars for a land bank now if we have not been spending everything appropriated to fighting blight in the recent past?FOOTNOTE: George Lumley is a CPA and a past employee of the Indiana State Board of Account.  Mr. Lumley is becoming well known and respected for his outstanding work on “Blight Property” issues.  Mr. Lumley as taken to task officials in the DMD because of the decisions that they are making to fund “Blight” programs are missing their intended mark significantly.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Ocean City Police Discover More Than 40 Frozen-Pipe Water Leaks

first_imgJanuary 9, 2016: Saturday Calls for service: 112Motor Vehicle Stops: 52Motor Vehicle Accidents: 1Property Checks: 38Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 3 fire and 1 EMS callsMotor vehicle accident, Tennessee Ave., at 10:22amWarrant, 700 block Wesley Ave., at 12:56pm January 7, 2016: ThursdayCalls for service: 87Motor Vehicle Stops: 21Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 26Alarms: 3The Police Department assisted with 6 fire and 3 EMS callsFraud, Edinburgh Rd., at 3:10pmWater Leaks 11 January 4, 2016: Monday Calls for service: 81Motor Vehicle Stops: 22Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 25Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 3 Fire and 6 EMS callsFraud, 200 block 51st St., at 2:32pmWater Leaks 2 January 8, 2016: FridayCalls for service: 92Motor Vehicle Stops: 40Motor Vehicle Accidents: 2Property Checks: 31Alarms: 3The Police Department assisted with 3 fire and 1 EMS callsMotor vehicle accident, Brighton Pl. & Atlantic Ave., at 2:47pmMotor vehicle accident, 1000 block Asbury Ave., at 3:26pmWater Leaks 2 January 6, 2016: WednesdayCalls for service: 85Motor Vehicle Stops: 11Motor Vehicle Accidents: 1Property Checks: 27Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 27 fire and 3 EMS callsMotor vehicle accident, 200 block Haven Ave., at 9:20amWater Leaks 20 January 5, 2016: TuesdayCalls for service: 92Motor Vehicle Stops: 24Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 23Alarms: 4The Police Department assisted with 9 fire and 8 EMS callsCDS, 700 block Asbury Ave., one in custody, at 12:20amTheft, Clipper Dr., at 11:42amWarrant, 800 block Central Ave., one in custody, at 11:45amAssault, 500 block Beach, at 2:28pmTheft, 3400 block Asbury Ave., at 3:02pmWarrant, 100 block Asbury Ave., one in custody, at 3:53pmWater Leaks 6 OCEAN CITY POLICE SUMMARIZED WEEK’S ACTIVITIES January 3 – 9, 2016Calls for Service: 610Daily Average: 87 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS:Just a reminder that it is a violation of a City Ordinance to have dogs on the boardwalk anytime during the year.City Ordinance 87-17sec.4-32 prohibits any Boat/Trailer over 22 feet in overall length from being parked on a city street.       Any boat/trailer less than 22 feet in overall length can only remain on a city street for three consecutive days. Officers will be issuing summons and towing boats/trailers for any observed violations.Please remember that during the winter months all outside water should be shut off and drained. Also your interior heat should be set at a temperature that will keep your pipes from freezing. Ocean City Police Department January 3, 2016: Sunday                                                Calls for service: 61Motor Vehicle Stops: 15Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 28Alarms: 3The Police Department assisted with 1 Fire and 1 EMS callslast_img read more

News story: Defence Minister calls on ‘unsung heroes’ to help military respond to new threats

first_imgDefence Minister Stuart Andrew opens the LOGNET conference. Crown copyright.Main areas of interest in the fifth LOGNET conference included: The ability to meet any threat in the shortest amount of time with the necessary volume of personnel and military hardware is critical to our deterrent posture. This can only be achieved with robust and proven logistics support. LOGNET helps build crucial closer links between academia, industry and defence which ensures our Armed Forces have the support network they need. Opening the Ministry of Defence’s LOGNET conference on military logistics, he said the UK would need the industry to stay ahead of the game for the country to retain its ability to respond quickly to threats from the likes of extreme terrorists and rogue states.Today’s event, the fifth of its kind, brought together 250 leading industry and military figures from the defence logistics community. New technologies from 14 companies and departments were showcased including autonomous resupply robots and pioneering logistics software.Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: LOGNET is the MOD’s support engagement and future development event for the defence support network. It is designed to improve the understanding of UK defence’s support requirements, pursue knowledge of developments in academic and commercial capability, whilst reinforcing partnerships through continued engagement. Its outcome is to assist defence in arguing the case for the UK to maintain a credible, highly capable and value for money support capability.Also speaking at LOGNET was the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger who focussed on the importance of logistics support to our Armed Forces and how it ensures the UK maintains its military edge over adversaries.General Sir Gordon Messenger said: Defence’s innovation agenda Autonomy and robotics Accelerating logistic innovation Routes to market Modernising defence support Our world-class Armed Forces are able to rapidly respond to unpredictable threats like terrorists and rogue states, and even humanitarian disasters like the recent tsunami in Indonesia. We’ve got to move quickly when crisis strikes, and the logisticians are the unsung heroes behind those on the frontline, ensuring everything runs smoothly so they are there and ready to respond. This conference brings together some of the brightest minds in the sector as we look to spur them on to ensure we remain a world-leading military. The UK is currently running around 30 logistics operations worldwide, with 15,000 people in the UK, in Africa, and in South East Asia delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief as well as taking part in major Operations and Exercises. Just last week the MOD deployed an A400M transport aircraft and a team of military experts to Indonesia to help with the aftermath of the earthquake tsunami.The Armed Forces are continually put through their paces in huge exercises such as the recently launched Saif Sareea in Oman to identify logistical best practice and uncover challenges faced on the modern battlefield. This ensures UK logistics systems are tested in the toughest of operational environments. These exercises help inform and steer the agenda for LOGNET events.last_img read more

Macphie runners raise over £1,000 for charity

first_imgBrave staff members from Macphie, the Scottish food ingredients manufacturer, have raised £1,355 for a cancer charity by running a gruelling obstacle race.They are donating the funds to Bowel Cancer UK after running the Banchory Beast Race.Part 10k race, part mud-drenched obstacle course, the Banchory Beast Race has taken place for the past three years, with Macphie always entering a team.R&D technologist Zoe Smart was the fastest runner from the company with a time of one hour 17 minutes, making her the 25th fastest woman overall.Michael McDonald, communications manager at Macphie, said: “There’s a real team spirit at Macphie and this was clearly evident at the Beast Race when you have 18 employees from various departments in the business pulling together to get round a gruelling 10k obstacle course! They are all mad, but they raised a terrific amount for a brilliant cause!”Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/TeamMacphie2015The MacPhie runners were:Clare HartPhil AnnadaleStevie StewartScott AndersonDouglas KidstonNick StewartRicky ConstableCharlotte PriceCatherine LowEduards KapisnikovsNerijus PerkarskasValdas JurgatisZara McConnellJohn MacDougallZoe SmartCatriona HarrowKeri CummingsReanna Holtlast_img read more

When skin cancer cells resist drug treatment

first_imgOne of cancer’s most frightening characteristics is its ability to return after treatment. In the case of many forms of cancer, including the skin cancer known as melanoma, tailored drugs can eradicate cancer cells in the lab, but often produce only partial, temporary responses in patients. Thus the burning question in the field of cancer research remains: How does cancer evade drug treatment?New research by a team from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Harvard affiliates Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggests that some of the answers to this question do not lie in cancer cells themselves. To find the answers, scientists are looking beyond tumor cells, studying the interplay between cancer cells and their healthy counterparts. The research team has found that normal cells that reside within the tumor, part of the tumor microenvironment, may supply factors that help cancer cells grow and survive despite the presence of anti-cancer drugs. These findings appear online this week in a paper published in Nature.“Historically, researchers would go to great lengths to pluck out tumor cells from a sample and discard the rest of the tissue,” said senior author Todd Golub, director of the Broad’s Cancer Program and Charles A. Dana Investigator in Human Cancer Genetics at the DFCI. Golub is also a professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “But what we’re finding now is that those nontumor cells that make up the microenvironment may be an important source of drug resistance.”To investigate how the tumor microenvironment may contribute to drug resistance, the researchers designed experiments in which cancer cells were grown in the same wells (miniscule test tubes no larger than a pencil eraser) along with normal cells. These co-cultured cells were then treated with anti-cancer drugs. When grown alone, such cancer cells died in the presence of many of these targeted agents, but when grown together with normal cells, cancer cells developed resistance to more than half of the 23 agents tested.These observations reflect what clinicians often see in patients with cancers such as melanoma. In the case of melanoma, targeted therapies have been developed against a specific, common mutation in a gene known as BRAF. While some patients’ tumors show an overwhelming response to BRAF inhibitors and seem to disappear, other patients’ tumors only respond by slightly decreasing in size. The failure to shrink tumors at the outset suggests that those tumors possess some level of innate resistance — the ability to evade drugs from the beginning of treatment.“Even though recent advances in targeted therapy have caused tremendous excitement in melanoma, the fact remains that drug resistance eventually develops in nearly all metastatic melanomas treated with BRAF inhibitors, and in some cases is present at the outset of treatment,” said Levi A. Garraway, a senior associate member of the Broad Institute and an associate professor at DFCI and HMS.“There are many different types of mechanisms that tumors may hijack to circumvent the effects of therapy … no single experimental approach can capture all of these potential mechanisms,” Garraway continued. “Thus, the application of complementary approaches can offer considerable synergy in terms of discovering the full spectrum of clinically relevant resistance mechanisms.”Scientists have uncovered resistance mechanisms that cancer cells develop over time — genetic changes in specific genes that may give cancer the ability to overcome the effects of a drug with time — but these acquired resistance mechanisms do not explain the innate resistance seen in many tumors.“We can take cancer cells out of a melanoma patient, put them on a dish, and most times they will turn out to be extremely sensitive to the targeted agents, but that’s not what we see in patients,” said Ravid Straussman, a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute and first author of the Nature paper. “Why do we get just a partial response in most patients? We set out to dissect this question, and the next logical step was to think beyond cancer cells.”After completing systematic, high-throughput screens of more than 40 cancer cell lines, the researchers chose to focus on melanoma, looking at whether factors normal cells secrete help cancer cells resist treatment. They measured more than 500 secreted factors and found that the factor most closely linked to BRAF inhibitor drug resistance was hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). HGF interacts with the MET receptor, abnormal activation of which has been tied to tumor growth in previous studies but never to drug resistance in melanoma.In addition to studying cells in the lab, the research team sought to replicate their findings in samples from cancer patients. Keith Flaherty, director of developmental therapeutics at MGH Cancer Center and an associate professor at HMS, and his lab provided 34 patient samples for study. The team measured levels of HGF in these samples and saw a relationship between how much HGF was present and the amount of tumor shrinkage patients experienced. For example, tumors in patients with high levels of HGF shrank less than those in patients with low HGF levels.“To try to explore in patient samples what factors in the microenvironment are not only present but functionally important in drug resistance would have been largely impossible. Coming up with candidates in the lab and then exploring relevance in humans in a targeted way is the only tractable approach,” said Flaherty. “By taking this high-throughput screening, hypothesis-generating approach, we could then follow up by looking at patient samples. In a case like melanoma, where you already have a targeted therapy available, it puts you on good footing to narrow in on specific factors that may be at play in drug resistance.”Several HGF/MET inhibitors are in clinical development or are FDA-approved for other indications, making clinical trials combining these inhibitors with BRAF inhibitors feasible in the future. In addition, researchers could follow the same approach taken by the team to screen other drugs currently in development, identifying mechanisms of resistance and ways to counter them even before treatment begins.“Drug resistance should no longer surprise us,” said Golub. “We’re thinking about how to do this — how to systematically dissect resistance — much earlier in the drug development process so that by the time a new drug enters the clinic, we have a good sense of what the likely mechanisms of resistance will be and have a strategy to combat them.”This work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Cancer Institute grants, and a Melanoma Research Alliance Team Science Award.last_img read more

Shumlin names Christine Oliver to be Commissioner of Mental Health

first_imgGovernor-elect Peter Shumlin today announced that Christine M. Oliver will serve as Commissioner of Mental Health.”Christine has broad experience with mental health issues and services, and with health care issues broadly,” said Shumlin. “Her professional background makes her a strong addition to our human services team.”Oliver has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Health Care Administration, through the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration, since her appointment in 2006. In that post, she was the managerial head of the state division responsible for regulating health insurance (including rates and forms), quality of health care services, and related consumer education and protection. The division also has statutory responsibility for reviewing hospital budgets and issuing “certificates of need” for hospital expenditures.”We are very fortunate to have Christine join the Human Services team,” said Human Services Secretary Designee Doug Racine. “She understands the connections between mental and physical health. Those skills will help us as we proceed with health care reform and closing the Vermont State Hospital as soon as possible.”Prior to her Vermont tenure, Oliver was Executive Assistant for Health and Human Services to Ohio Governor Bob Taft, focusing on Mental Health, Health, Job and Family Services (including Medicaid), Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Aging, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services issues.She also served as General Counsel for the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, an agency that serves 60,000 individuals through 12 state-operated developmental centers, 88 county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and 1,300 private providers regulated by the State. In addition, she previously was an associate with the Ohio law firm of Delligatti, Hollenbaugh & Briscoe Co., L.P.A., with a focus on business and health care litigation.Oliver obtained her law degree from the Ohio State University, College of Law and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Youngstown State University.Her salary will be $99,000. Source: Shumlin’s office. 12.23.2010last_img read more

Cities courting startups should also be courting lenders

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Omar Jordan Omar Jordan is CEO of fintech CUSO LenderClose. With API connections to every vendor it takes to originate a mortgage or HELOC, LenderClose gives loan officers immediate access to a … Web: https://www.lenderclose.com Details It’s a double-edged sword when global media run stories about our hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. While we’re humbled and excited to have our city recognized for its awesomeness, we’re also a bit like, “Shhh, don’t tell anyone.” Many of us like living in a best kept secret. So when Inc. Magazine ran its super optimistic piece, Why the Next Great Startup Will Come from Des Moines, our team read it (and reread it) with enthusiasm and a smidge of dread. Could an article like this flood our town with entrepreneurs hungry for a fertile environment? It sure could; entrepreneurs are nothing if not nomadic. I moved (quite literally) across the world to find the best place to launch and scale a fintech business. In many respects, the article was spot-on. There was, however, one really important benefit to building a company in Des Moines the author missed. In addition to offering startups an eager and involved government, proximity to Iowa State University and a slew of heavy-hitter business leaders, Des Moines has another really important attribute – a collection of progressive, smart and eager lenders. And many of these lenders are credit unions. There’s a proven willingness among our community’s credit union scene to finance entrepreneurs and idealists. Of course, it’s not only credit unions contributing to this sense of financial adventure. Our entire financial services community – a sector rich with incumbents hungry for innovation – is incredibly strong and active in the pursuit of industry transformation.The interesting thing about progressive financial institutions is they attract progressive financial providers. In our community alone, CO-OP Financial Services, PSCU, Shazam and many others have planted sizable flags. Mash them together with our venture capital firms, like Next Level Ventures and Plains Angels, or cooperative investors like Veridian Credit Union, and that’s when the magic really happens. Combining their expertise, strategies and funding, these organizations working in collaboration can (and do) help accelerate fintech and other startup’s ambitions for scale. All that said, the role of civic leaders cannot be overstated. It absolutely matters that our state’s central business hub is also home to the state’s government. Local leaders are available and make time to interact with business. The governor of Iowa attended our launch party; a clear indication she believes in the power of startups to advance the state’s economy. Government can’t create a startup scene, but there is a lot they can do to support it. It’s happening in Des Moines, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. last_img read more