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Health board looking for a governing body

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | November 5, 2021 7:00 AM

Members of the Lincoln County Board of Health broached the topic of adopting a governing body during a work meeting last month.

While the panel and county health officer once enjoyed autonomy during public health crises, the Republican-held state Legislature stripped those powers earlier this year. Now local health orders issued during an emergency must earn the approval of a governing body.

Jim Seifert, who serves as Troy’s representative to the panel, pitched the idea of creating an oversight body composed of local mayors and one county commissioner. Another option, he said, was adopting the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners as the governing body.

Until the board selects a governing body it cannot make any formal decisions, county officials said at the meeting. Still, that shouldn’t affect much of the work the board handles outside of the pandemic in the immediate future, Seifert said.

“Generally speaking, sewer, waste disposal, all that stuff — it will all make sense and there’s no problem with oversight,” he told his colleagues.

While board members stopped short of determining what direction they wanted to go in, County Commissioner Josh Letcher (D-3) asked county Health Department Director Kathi Hooper to investigate how other jurisdictions across the state were handling the question.