Updated: Feb 14
MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commissioners approved a resolution for an advisory board for the health department and appointed members to the board on Monday, Jan 31.
Members appointed from Commission District No. 1 were Michelle Bollinger, RN (three-year term) and Pam Christen (one-year term). From District No. 2, the members were Annie Roberts, DDS (two-year term) and Lacey Earnest, RN (three-year term).
And from District No. 3, Carol Beckwith, RN (two-year term) and Megan Roedel (three-year term). The only commissioner that had a nominee for the at-large position was Johnson. DeAnn Dawson was appointed to the at-large position for a one-year term.
Nominees terms were staggered so that all of their terms did not expire at the same time. After their first term’s end, all terms then will be for three years.
Last week, it appeared that advisory board for the Linn County Health Department would have broader powers on hiring and policy decisions than any other county board or committee, according to a description of the scope and duties of the board outlined by County Counselor Gary Thompson.
In last week’s commission meeting, Thompson said the board will save Linn County Health Director Missy Lancaster some work because they will look at the details of things and will take her information and make recommendations to the commissioners about things like hiring a new nurse or applying for a grant. Thompson said they would be the public’s eyes.
In a separate interview with Thompson last week, he said that the advisory board was similar to commission-appointed committees and boards, like the fire department or economic development.
The fire department and economic development directors both work frequently and closely with their boards, but they can take requests for grants and hiring an employee directly to the commissioners if needed.
At the Monday, Jan.31, meeting, Thompson said that there seemed to be some misunderstanding about the board’s duties, and he clarified what the board will be responsible for. He said that the article he had read in a newspaper last week seemed to say that this board would take decision-making out of Lancaster’s hands.
Thompson said that was not the case. He that if he left that impression, he was in error of doing so. This is an advisory board that is there to give advice, bring public input, to take insight to the public and they will advise on everything, but they are not decision-makers.
Commission Chair Jim Johnson told Lancaster the purpose of the committee is to let you bounce things off of them.