DHS will probably retain full-time office

The Cimarron County Department of Human Services Offices, now open only two days a week, should return to it's normal five day week, according to State Senator Owen Laughlin and Representative Gus Blackwell.

The office, which deals with a wide variety of issues including child and adult protective services, child support, energy assistance and family planning, went down to a two-day week with the mid-August retirement of Nancy Kline.

The position posting was first listed out of the Texas County Office at Guymon. Since the interest generated by questions from Laughlin, Blackwell and ordinary citizens, the job-listing has been reissued from Cimarron County.

Marie Holston, director of the Texas County office explained last week to The Boise City News that due to an aging and declining population in Cimarron County a decision had been made to have the office doors open two days a week. Holstun explained that previous to Kline's retirement she had been working on Texas County files in order to stay busy.

However, Cimarron County Commissioner Kenneth Manness contacted Laughlin and Blackwell with his and the commission's concerns about a potential loss of service. They, (Laughlin and Blackwell), responded immediately.

“Howard Hendrick (DHS state director) has assured me that we will keep at least one full-time person in the Cimarron County office,” Laughlin said by phone.

“They (down state bureaucrats) have no comprehension of the distances we have to travel out here,” said Blackwell.

“We've had two people covering Rehab over four counties, (Cimarron, Texas, Beaver and Harper), and now they want one young woman to move to Woodward and cover 11 counties,” Blackwell added. “I told them they'd be spending more on milage, per diem and motel rooms than it would save on a salary and benefits,” he continued.

“I think we'll get a full-time system restored,” Laughlin reiterated.

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