Health Administrator

By Bob Balgemann


The Boone County Board of Health has approved hiring current employee Amanda Mehl as administrator of the health department.

She replaces Cynthia Frank, who retired this month after holding that position for several years.

Mehl, a registered nurse, currently is the department’s director of personal health.

After Frank announced her retirement, the board decided to combine one of the director’s positions with administrator, reducing the number of top supervisors from three to two.

Given the upcoming retirement of the longtime environmental health director, Bill Hatfield, the search focused on finding either a registered nurse or an environmental health professional.

The health department is a county department, and the administrator position had been included in the hiring freeze, which was imposed earlier this year. However, at the Aug. 17 meeting, the board approved exempting that position in a voice vote among 11 members present, with two dissenting.

There was discussion about the state of the search for Frank’s replacement.

She was at the meeting and explained the department is mandated by the Illinois Department of Public Health to have an administrator. Salaries for three supervisory positions are in the 2015-16 budget, which is good until Nov. 30 of this year.

“Bill’s leaving in December,” she said.

Board member Karl Johnson, who also chairs the finance, salaries, and taxation committee, reminded the board that the county “is in a pretty tight budget crunch” right now. With that in mind, he said the vacancy in the public defender’s office will be discussed at the September finance committee meeting.

Board member Kenny Freeman asked about the starting salary for the new administrator.

“I’d like to know what it is if we’re going to vote to eliminate the hiring freeze” for that position, he said.

Another board member, Jeff Carlisle, said it was a range with $90,000 at the top end, and the low end being $15,000 less than that.

“That’s what I heard,” Freeman replied. “I’ve been hearing different things from the public and wanted clarification.”

The board of health ultimately settled on $85,000 as the starting salary, once the appointment is approved by the state. The board oversees operation of the health department.

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