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Elected officials should hire SJBPH head

Thank you, Board of County Commissioners for deciding elected representatives be the ones to hire a health director. I am surprised that wasn’t spelled out when the BCC voted to dissolve San Juan Basin Public Health.

Residents need a director accountable to them. The former director was allowed to carry out an inequitable personal agenda during COVID-19, disproportionately impacting county businesses. I never heard an apology for the things she got wrong during COVID-19 (no accountability).

When community members are unsatisfied with the director, they can contact their elected representatives for redress. If still not satisfied, they can vote the commissioners out of office, the way our government is intended to work. Transparency, accountability and the safeguarding of our rights are what voters deserve.

Three board members have resigned. It likely avoided some conflict of interest. I am sure they can be replaced. The list of applicants was long. Two names that come to mind are Michalina Paulek and John Partenope.

There is some issue with what the new health department will look like. I suggest the BCC ask the county attorney to determine what programs are required by state law. Implement those programs and nothing more. Keep it simple. Build from there if the community votes to grow.

After you identify what is required, you may see that SJBPH had grown beyond what was needed. This should help get a handle on the county budget.

Jason Mietchen