Resignations spark changes at Health Dept.
by Jazz Clark
Health Department Administrator Margie Allgyer resigned during a closed session of the Morgan County Board of Health on Monday, August 20, spurring changes at the county department.
During a two-hour executive session, Allgyer offered a verbal resignation, which board members accepted. No official letter of resignation has been received.
County Health Officer Dr. Kevin McLaughlin and Board Member Lynn Perry both expressed wishes to resign as soon as replacements could be found.
McLaughlin said he was not comfortable with some recent events and wishes he had been contacted. He will continue serving until October 1 to allow for finding a replacement.
“I didn’t want to leave anybody hanging without a health officer, as the Health Department would cease to operate without one,” McLaughlin said.
The current backup officer may need to be replaced as well.
Perry, who is a representative of the Morgan County Commission, had been thinking of resigning for the past six months. She said she wanted to give someone else a chance to have their voice heard. She has been on the board for over 10 years.
Fowler returns for now
Board chairman Sanford Bienen said new directions for the department are being considered.
“There are a couple of staff members trying to pick up the pieces and I’m backing them as board chair,” Bienen said.
The board already has a few ideas for new personnel.
At a special emergency meeting on Monday, August 27, they discussed the procedure for hiring a new administrator.
“We are faced with a time of both great problems and great opportunities,” Bienen said.
He proposed creating a subcommittee to look into replacements among the staff or restructuring the current administration.
It was agreed that the opening should be posted on the State Division of Personnel website as soon as possible if that direction is taken.
There are, however, employees who will need to be offered the position first.
Bienen may hold a workshop with members in the future for selection of a new administrator.
While searching for a full-time administrator, Health Department management will be handled by three people: Former Administrator Lee Fowler, Sanitarian Bruce Ullom and clerical staff Cathy DeLawder.
Of the three, Fowler is the only one being brought in specifically for administration. The others will balance operations with day-to-day tasks.
The department may hire an outside accounting firm to aid Fowler.