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County Health Dept.workers speak; Administrator on leave

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Writer

(TAYLORVILLE) — The Christian County Board of Public Health met for an emergency meeting called on Monday, Aug. 15 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting was called to discuss personnel and to hear any and all public comments regarding the matter.

The Board placed Administrator, Greg Seiders, on paid administrative leave on Friday, Aug. 12. He is under further investigation for reasons which were not disclosed by the Health Board.

There were six total public comments. All by current and former Christian County Public Health employees.

Kent Delay was the first to speak and he laid out all the accomplishments made by the COVID-19 Emergency Response team at the Public Health Department including contact tracing and rapid testing around the clock.

“We did this for the residents of our community,” said Delay. “Now I ask what have you accomplished in the last two years?”

He claimed “the bylaws have been violated multiple times” and “a board member should have not sued the department for which she sits on the Board.”

Delay also asked questions regarding several staff needs including an “adequate building size with space for the staff,” “mental health services” and “medical director.” He finished by stating, “I can’t wait until I can ask for the recordings from these closed sessions. I really can’t because I will FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) them.”

Jane Griffith followed up with saying working for the Public Health Department has been a “real wide-eye opener.” Griffith was pleasantly surprised when she saw the work put in by the Emergency Response team.

“I have never worked with an Administrator or an Assistant Administrator who were right out there with us,” she said.

Kelsey Bartlow explained her experience with working at the CCHD.

“I love serving my clients here in Christian County,” said Bartlow.

Bartlow claimed she is undervalued at her current position.

“I am the lowest paid WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Coordinator this Public Health Department has ever had, despite having a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Nutrition from an accredited university.”

She continued by stating ‘the Board doesn’t know enough about me or my title to warrant a raise.”

Dotty Landers spoke on behalf of Rhonda Moma.

“We have been through a lot of good nurses over the years due to lack of pay,” she said. “I would hate to lose more good staff.”

Jason Domonousky spoke next. He was a Contact Tracer on the COVID-19 relief team who says the group was like a “family.”

“The preparation and execution of the plan was absolutely amazing and I credit Greg (Seiders) and Marcy (May) for that,” said Domonousky.

He continued by saying, “I don’t remember very many people coming out and saying, ‘do you guys need anything?,’ except for the people who work in this office and our families who supported us to go and do that. I think Greg and Marcy absolutely deserve all the recognition and all the credit for coordinating for COVID and other things.”

Jeff Nolan, the only non-employee to comment, came to the meeting to support Greg.

“I don’t know what’s going on in here, but you need to fix it and try to work with what you got,” he said. “You don’t realize what you’ve got until you’re about to lose it.”

The meeting then went into closed session at 7:16 p.m. to discuss personnel.

When the meeting resumed at 8:02 p.m., motions were passed to begin the hiring process for a temporary Director while the other was to enter into a contractual agreement for an interim Administrator at Public Health Department and Environmental Health.

The meeting adjourned shortly after at 8:04 p.m.

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