Certified Professional Guardian Board (CPGB)
December 10, 2007
Certified Professional Guardian Board
Ree Ah Bloedow
Tom O’Brien, Guardianship Services of Seattle
Call to Order
Judge Van Deren announced that Judge Prochnau’s formal swearing-in ceremony will be held today at the King County Superior Courthouse in Seattle, and Judge Prochnau invited all in attendance to the ceremony. Judge Van Deren also announced that with Elizabeth Turner’s new appointment as Assistant General Counsel for the Washington State Bar Association, Ms. Turner had decided to resign her membership on the Board.
Judge Van Deren reminded the Board that it has been invited to participate in the Fall 2008 Judicial Conference. Judge Wickham indicated that the Spring Judicial Conference will be focused on Elder Abuse, and that the development of statewide guardianship forms should be available for distribution at that point. Judge Van Deren and Judge Wickham will explore the Board’s ability to participate at the fall conference and report to the Board at the next meeting.
Approval of November 5, 2007 Minutes
Judge Van Deren proposed an amendment to page three of the minutes: when there is a unanimous vote on a motion by Board members present, the minutes should indicate that it is not necessary for the Chair to vote. A motion was made and properly seconded to approve the minutes as amended for the November 5, 2007 Board meeting. The motion passed.
The Board met in Executive Session at approximately 9:25 a.m.
Following is the list of applicants who were reviewed for certification as professional guardians and the disposition of their applications.
A motion was made and properly seconded to disapprove the application of Paulette Burgess. Motion approved. Hank Hibbard abstained.
Education Committee - Guardian Certificate Program
At its last meeting, the Board directed the Education Committee and the University of Washington Educational Outreach (UWEO) to develop a proposal for an interagency agreement governing the development and administration of a Guardian Certificate Program.
Judge Van Deren opened the discussion by indicating that she and Judge Hogan had declined participation in this project. She informed the Board that after reading the details of the resulting proposal from the Education Committee, she met with Chief Justice Alexander regarding her concerns with the proposal, which are primarily: (1) that the Board would be required to engage in fundraising; and (2) that the Board may not be the proper agency to be party to an interagency agreement with UWEO. After discussing the issues with Dirk Marler and Nan Sullins, Justice Alexander expressed to Judge Van Deren that he trusts the Board’s judgment in continuing with this effort and that his only caution would be to ensure that any fundraising efforts are pursued in a legal and ethical manner.
Judge Van Deren first pointed out that the statute governing interagency cooperative agreements has clear requirements concerning payments between agencies and oversight by OFM and the Governor, as well as required portions of any agreement. The Education Committee members and UWEO members present were not familiar with the statute. Any enforceable agreement will have to comply with the statute.
Judge Van Deren then summarized the topics for discussion before the Board today: (1) the timing constraints in finalizing an interagency agreement and developing the program by September 2008; (2) the nature of the proposed program development costs and how the funds will be raised; and (3) whether any funds raised may be received by AOC rather than UW, to avoid the expense of the UW grant office.
Bill Anderson, Asst. Dir. UWEO, addressed the timing and cost issues: (1) it was his opinion that the UWEO and the Education Committee had defined the details necessary for an interagency agreement, leaving the statutory requirements to the lawyers who will negotiate any such agreement. (2) The next step is to bring together the Guardianship Advisory Group to begin developing the curriculum. After the Group defines the curriculum, a program can be developed and ready to present in six months. (3) The market for this program is not robust, and there may not be the enrollment necessary to recoup operating costs, much less development costs. Start-up funds are necessary for infrastructure, to secure facilities and hire instructors. UWEO has already expended approximately $25,000 in exploring this venture, thus UWEO is looking to the Board to share some of the investment expense. $75,000 is needed before the next meeting of the Advisory Group, and another $75,000 is needed prior to the first September program. He also noted that the UW assesses a 40% administrative fee for providing its services, thus increasing the total cost to the Board by 40% above the stated $150,000, or an additional $60,000. It was unclear whether 40% would also be charged to the additional $60,000, or $24,000 more.
This 40% figure was a surprise to all Board members, as none had been advised of it or contemplated the cost. Furthermore, the UWEO had not demanded payment of any costs prior to the later part of 2007 and just prior to the meeting.
As to the concern about administrative fees,, Dirk Marler, AOC Director of Judicial Services, indicated that AOC has entered into agreements with UW in the past and that it is sometimes possible for AOC to negotiate a lower administrative fee with the UW. The Board inquired about whether AOC could manage any funds for the project and thereby avoid any administrative fee. It was unclear whether AOC could do this, and, if so, whether that would avoid the UW’s administrative fee. The Board also discussed the possibility of negotiating with the UW grant office and reducing the administrative fee percentage.
The Board discussed possible sources for funds, including the Legislature, DSHS, AARP, bar associations, judges’ colleges and other national organizations. Dirk Marler reminded the Board that AOC did not have the funds budgeted for this effort; that fundraising from outside parties had to be performed in an appropriate ethical manner; and that if a legislative budget request is made, it must first go through the Board of Judicial Administration. Chris Ruhl clarified that the contracting entity for the interagency agreement may be AOC, but that the Board itself will have to play the substantive fundraising role.
Judge Van Deren then asked for volunteers to head the fundraising effort. There being no volunteers, Judge Wickham briefly summarized the fundraising issues and suggested that those details be left to the Education Committee and UWEO. Recognizing that the Board members all appear to be in agreement that the program should move forward, he asked the Education Committee for a motion.
Education Committee Chair Hank Hibbard made the following motion:
The Board requests that AOC negotiate and enter into an interagency agreement with UWEO [to develop and administer the Guardian Certificate Program]; and the Board commit itself to explore funding in good faith, within legal and ethical limitations, and to provide subject matter expertise to AOC.
Judge Van Deren adjourned the meeting at approximately 11:10 a.m.
Judge Van Deren
Board Approved: 2-08-08
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