Houston County Commissioners Push to Change Health Authority Appointment Process | Government and Politics

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“I just want to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Culver said. “I want to err on the side of caution.”

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Reading a statement prepared Thursday, Herring had harsh words for the process and the health authority, particularly President Chester Sowell.

“You all know how I feel about this issue,” Herring said. “This is not fair. You have an untouchable board of directors and an iron-fisted chairman of the board. This amendment will definitively clarify a problem that this commission has faced since 1995 with the former Commissioner (Wylie) Yelverton. Commissioner Frances Cook also faced the same issue with the current chairman of the board. This is exactly how he was put on the board and now he is fighting tooth and nail to prevent the exact process that gave him the opportunity to serve.

The process for appointing the health authority is set out in its articles of association. Every two years, a nominating committee presents each district county commissioner with three names for their district along with a recommendation. County commissioners must select someone from these three names, and then the commission votes on the nominations.

After past issues with nominations, a procedure was put in place where the nominating committee would consult with county commissioners, who nominate 12 of the authority members. The chairman of the hospital’s medical staff is the 13th member of the authority. The chairman of the departmental commission does not make an appointment.

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