District includes Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Fletchers Landing.
Name: Richard S. Malaby
Present Employment: Innkeeper, Crocker House Country Inn
Highest Level of Education Completed: MBA from Michigan State University
Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: School board (16 years) and state representative (two years)
Why Are You Running for Office?
I hope to return to Augusta to continue with the work that was started during the last term. I have been proud to be a part of the numerous reforms enacted by the 125th Legislature.
But my real passion lies in the reforms we are attempting to make within the Health and Human Services Department. That department is undertaking a significant review of many of the policies, practices and priorities currently in place. We have a number of truly needy populations that we are underserving, while at the same time directing scarce resources to programs that have limited effectiveness.
I am dismayed that we do not provide for the minimum federally mandated requirements for housing and services for our most needy developmentally and physically disabled adults. At the same time, we have numerous programs with eligibility and benefits far in excess of federal minimums.
Likewise I am concerned about the state’s inability to provide adequate housing and services for our traumatically brain injured population. We treat too many Maine residents out of state at very substantial costs. We need to build facilities here in Maine to care for these people, closer to their homes and families and at a much lower cost.
We certainly need more housing and services for our mentally ill populations. At the same time we need to have a paradigm shift away from treating any and every episode of mental illness with an unending prescription of antipsychotics and anti-depressants.
I am also concerned about the number of children in the Child Welfare System, too many of whom are on antipsychotics and ADHD medication. The increasing diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder presents additional and significant challenges to both the educational and health care system.
In terms of our substance abuse population, the state has seemingly embraced a policy of harm reduction — while providing methadone, suboxone and Subutex to too many people for far too long and often times without the desired results. We need accountability and long-term positive measurable results for the many tens of millions of dollars that we are spending on this population.
For far too long we have asked more and more of our nursing homes while providing inadequate financial support for our elderly who reside there. These institutions can’t survive on just MaineCare and Medicare reimbursements. Unfortunately, in this as in other areas, we have continued to ignore and underfund the truly needy among us.
This department is undergoing a reorganization and indeed a reprioritization of its mission and functions. It is time to redirect the resources to our most needy populations, and to employ these resources in the most appropriate manner. There is certainly much work that remains to be done. I look forward to continuing the effort and being part of the eventual solution.