The Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown.
The Ways and Means Committee of the Essex County Board of Supervisors has tabbed Linda Beers as the new director of the Public Health Department.
The committee voted unanimously to move the recommendation to the full board meeting Oct. 3.
Lewis Supervisor David Blades, who heads the committee that oversees public health, said they received approval from the state for the move after their regular monthly meeting, but wanted to bring the matter to rest by appointing Beers.
“The approval came after human services already had their meeting,” Blades said. “I have talked with the committee and most are in favor of the move.”
Board Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas said a lot of work has gone into finding someone to put into the role of Public Health Director.
“They have done a wonderful job and selected a wonderful candidate,” Douglas said.
The position pays $74,000 annually.
Smoking ban clears committee
The committee also forwarded the new county smoking policy to a vote by the full board, which would be placed into effect Nov. 17 if passed.
Keene Supervisor William “Bill” Ferebee asked if, once the policy was in place, there would be a specific way it would be enforced.
“How are these areas going to be policed and who is going to be over that,” Ferebee asked.
“The department heads are paid to do a job, that includes enforcing the rules,” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said.
“It becomes the department heads responsibility to police and do discipline if they see someone not following the rules,” agreed county manager Daniel Palmer.
Pricing for study questioned
Moriah Supervisor Thomas “Tom” Scozzafava questioned a resolution authorizing the expenditure of up to $7,500 for an engineering study to be done by AES for the replacement of a transformer that supplies power to the Horace Nye Nursing Home.
“I can tell you that this is not a fair price,” Scozzafava said. “This is a lot of money just to go over and size a project up.”
Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey also asked where the money was going to come from to fund the study.
“This is going to be an issue of where in the Horace Nye budget we can fund this from,” County Manager Daniel Palmer said. “I could say that we just take it out of contingency, but then it puts no pressure on anyone to look at their budget and find a place within to fund this.”
“If we are going to authorize any spending, then we need to know where it is coming from,” Montgomery-Corey said.
Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell said he wanted more information on what the study would entail.
“This might be a lot more than just replacing a transformer,” Scozzafava said.
Palmer said the current transformer was put in place between 1968 and 1972 and is considered a major issue.
“It has gone out before and they were lucky to get it back on,” Palmer said. “This is a public safety and health issue.”