July 22, 2019
Dear Clients and Families of Westside Regional Center,
We are writing to inform you that, after a great deal of thought and concern, the Board of Directors of Westside Regional Center (WRC) has decided not to renew the contract of the current Executive Director, Carmine Manicone. Carmine has led our regional center for the past three years, in addition to 14 years in other positions. We thank him for his dedication and wish him well.
We wanted to reach out to you directly and assure you that this change will not affect your services. You will continue to receive support from your service coordinator and other regional center staff. We promise to work diligently to find a new director and will keep you informed of our efforts and provide you with opportunities for input and feedback. Please know that the Board of Directors, made up mostly of people with developmental disabilities and family members, did not make this decision lightly.At this point, with the approval and input of Carmine, we are fortunate to have Dr. Tom Kelly accept the position of Interim Executive Director. Currently Dr. Kelly is the Director of Clinical Services at Westside Regional Center and is a member of WRC’s executive management team.
Our Board is filled with dedicated volunteers who represent you and the nearly 10,000 stakeholders that make up the people we serve. Our roles are varied and include approving the regional center’s annual budget and significant contracts with vendors, developing policies on the services available for funding, and reviewing the performance of the Executive Director, among other duties.
We are committed to a regional center that is responsive, respectful, and fair-minded. We work hard to ensure that the regional center is providing the services that you deserve. We prioritize eliminating the substantial racial and ethnic disparities that affect so many in our community. As new opportunities and changes arise in our program areas we work to respond to them–like providing oversight of the regional center’s implementation of the Self-Determination Program, the new rule requiring inclusive settings, and the shift towards Person-Centered Thinking. In all these endeavors, we strive to make sure that every family’s and individual’s voice is heard.
We know our regional center can do better and we are committed to working closely with our devoted staff to explore areas for improvement and respond to your concerns. We invite any questions or comments you may have and encourage you to come to our Board meetings, committee meetings and other public forums—which are posted on our website at:https://westsiderc.org/. You may also contact us by email at email@example.com. We hope you will join us at our next Board meeting on September 11, 2019 on the 3rd floor boardroom of the Westside Regional Center where your input will be valued.
Over 50 years ago, when parents fought for the passage of the Lanterman Act that created the regional centers, it was envisioned that this new system would be led by the people with developmental disabilities and their families through volunteer boards of directors. The farsighted law also confirmed that individuals with developmental disabilities “should be empowered to make choices in all life areas,” and stated that “the contributions made by parents and family members in support of their children and relatives with developmental disabilities are important and those relationships should also be respected and fostered.”
More than a half-century later, these are the values that we continue to fight for.We thank you for your support during this time of transition. We take our oversight responsibilities as Board members very seriously and will continue to work hard on behalf of all of Westside Regional Center clients and families every single day.
The members of the Westside Regional Center Board of Directors