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Board of Health to meet

— The Okanogan County Board of Health will talk about the health district charter and future direction when it meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the agency’s office, 1234 S. Second Ave.

During the July 14 meeting, an ad hoc committee was appointed to study the health board’s makeup and make recommendations to county commissioners about who should serve and for how long.

Commissioners voted in early July to change the board’s makeup, then on July 13 rescinded the action in order to gather more comments and information.

Scrutiny of the six-member board, of which commissioners make up half, began when Lee Webster left the Brewster mayor’s post and became the city’s public works director. Under health board rules, the three non-commissioner members must be elected city officials or city clerks.

While investigating whether Webster could stay on the board, commissioners rediscovered the city clerk language and determined Omak City Administrator Ralph Malone, the health board chairman, also was not eligible to serve.

That left two vacancies on the health board. Oroville Councilwoman Neysa Roley remains on the board with the three commissioners.

During the July health board meeting, the body named Roley, Health Officer Dr. John McCarthy, health district Administrative Coordinator Ella Robbins and community members Andi Ervin and Nora Sheridan to the ad hoc committee.

Possibilities include a five-, six- or seven-member board.

Commissioners also are considering disbanding the district and creating a county department to handle its functions, which include community health services such as communicable disease monitoring and prevention, children’s oral health, injury prevention, teen health, biomedical waste; environmental health such as sewage permitting and system monitoring, solid waste, pool/hot tub and spa monitoring, land safety monitoring, food safety, food and beverage worker permits, restaurant safety, and environmental hazards; and vital statistics, including birth and death certificates.

Other topics at Tuesday’s meeting include the 2016 budget and finances, and updates from the community and environmental health divisions.

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