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June 17, 2024

Edgar County Health Department – Elevated Budget? Approved Budget?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On October 20, 2022

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –

During the Edgar County Health Department Board meeting I raised a question regarding the compensation they were about to set for the two administrators as can be seen in the video below.  The board approved their new salaries to be based on the last hourly rate before the illegal pay spike with a 3% increase as was outlined by Bellwether during the meeting.

The representative from Bellwether was present and made numerous references during the meeting to “process” errors that need to be addressed moving forward.  My question was a simple “process” question, but the answer was troubling.

Is the compensation you’re about to provide budgeted?  Note Oliver Smith’s response. He “thinks” the “elevated” numbers were in there at the time.  Why were budget numbers elevated?  More importantly, we note that Bruce with Bellwether said they are OK with the 2022 budget.  It would appear whoever gave that information to Bellwether was wrong because the 2022 budget in question was never approved in a legal meeting.  That means they do not have an approved budget, yet the spending continues.  We suspect this will be another “process” error to be corrected moving forward.

We first wrote about the issue in this article.  Anyone can read the actual minutes and see that the meeting did not have a quorum, which means there was no legal meeting. No legal meeting; no legally approved budget.

Another point of interest in the meeting was the implication that many times a Health Department’s focus is on providing “health care” and is what they are good at, and not so good on the “process” side of the table, such as complying with certain record-keeping, etc.  It is our opinion that the “process” side of the equation is in the control of the Administrators and the Board, of which neither provide health care.  In this case, it is clear the Administrators and certain board members have been asleep at the wheel for some time.

We understand the current Board Chairman Oliver Smith may not be re-appointed when his term expires this month.  Regardless of appointments in the future, if this board moves forward they are going to have a lot of issues to correct and deal with as the tips of malfeasance are rolling in after we first started writing about the Health Department, and they are troubling.



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