Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross says if elected, he’ll reorganize the Iowa Department of Human Services, get rid of middle managers and hire more “front-line” workers to investigate child abuse. He says the department needs to refocus on results to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens instead of paying outside consultants to review matters.Republican legislators refused to hire as many child abuse investigators as democrat Governor Tom Vilsack proposed. Gross says the key is reducing layers of management by getting rid of higher-paid supervisors.Gross says he’ll also get rid of current director Jesse Rasmussen, who he says has made a litany of bad choices. When Gross was chief of staff for Governor Terry Branstad, welfare grants and payments for foster care providers were cut. Gross says if he becomes Governor, he’d first focus on changing the organization of the agency, and those kind of cuts won’t be at the top of his agenda. He says the contract service providers generally provide the services at a lower cost than the department can provide them.In the late 1980s when Gross was chief of staff for then-Governor Branstad, the director of the Department of Human Services was replaced following a controversial child abuse case. Vilsack campaign spokesman Joe Householder says if Gross is elected, there would be a wholesale firing of all Vilsack’s agency chiefs, who Householder says would be replaced by the “corporate lobbyists and government insiders” Gross has worked with and for his entire career. Gross is a lawyer/lobbyist.
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