County boards dissolved
Graham County’s Board of Public Health and Department of Social Services are no more.
Friday, during the continuation of Tuesday’s county commission meeting, commissioners assumed “direct control” of both departments.
When asked why the change was made, commissioner chairman Keith Eller remarked, “Just, things that have happened for a long time. The Board of Commissioners don’t really have no say over these two departments and things have happened in the past that come back to us and there’s nothing we can do about it. Statewide, most of your counties are already doing this.”
“In 2013, the General Legislature passed a law that said counties can do that,” stated county attorney Jay Coward. “So across the state counties have considered doing it. There’s a variety of ways of doing it, and in a small county this is probably the best way.”
The two boards will be replaced by an advisory committee of “qualified and interested county residents to study, interpret and develop community support and cooperation in activities.”
“Instead of having 16 boards members, there’s going to be five that come to us,” Eller said. “Then if decisions have to be made, we’ll make them and people don’t have to worry about losing a friend.”
“The only difference between the two is the Dept. of Social Services does not have to have an advisory board, the health department, if they take control, it does have to have an advisory board. So that’s why they appointed an advisory board for one, but not the other,” Coward said.
The Board of Public Health consisted of Karen Anderson, Alan Carver, Dirk Cody, Samantha Cody, Anthony Ditmore, Claudine Gibson, Melba Millsaps, commissioner Connie Orr, Dr. Angela Rogers, Kerry Rogers, and Meghan Smith.
The Dept. of Social Services Board consisted of Ann Hager, Amber Davis, Yvette Hooper, commissioner Jacob Nelms, and commissioner Dale Wiggins.
The resolution commissioners passed Friday states that members of the dissolved boards are eligible for reappointment to the Graham County Public Health Advisory Committee.
A public hearing on the resolution will be held Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. in the Graham County Community Building, 196 Knight St., Robbinsville.