Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gary Arthur: search for new Health Commissioner NOT suspended

This morning after reading in the Enquirer (see today’s blog below) that the Norwood Health Commission has suspended its search for a replacement for retiring Health Commissioner Donna Laake, we emailed two questions about this to Gary Arthur, Pro Tem President of the Norwood Health Commission:

1.) Has the Norwood Health Commission, in fact, suspended its search for Ms. Laake's replacement?
2.) If not, does the authority to suspend the search lie anywhere outside the Norwood Health Commission?

We just received Mr. Arthur's reply, along with his permission to publish it:

Ms. Knox,

We have not suspended our search for a new Health Commissioner. It is our desire to move forward with the selection process.

As to the authority to suspend the search. The selection of the candidate is the responsibility of the Health Commission. City Council however, does have the option whether or not to fund the position.

I understand that City Council is looking at other options regarding the future of the Health Department. Compounding the problem has been a lack of communication between the Health Commission and City Council. We have not had much feedback from Council regarding our request for information on their position. As soon as City Council makes known to us their thinking on this matter, the sooner we can have a new Commissioner in place. As it stands, we cannot in good faith offer the position to anyone until there is some guarantee from Council that the Health Department will be funded.

The other option available to us is to have an interim Health Commissioner until such time we can fill the permanent position.


Gary Arthur
President Pro Tem
Norwood Health Commission