Monday, 05 June 2023

McSorley: Lake County deserves better

First, I wish to extend my gratitude to Lake County News for its skilled investigative journalistic skills and interest in the workings of our local and state government. The other news outlet in our county seems to prefer to focus on high school sports activities and other non-controversial subject matters.

Last week, I became the 30th employee in the past 15 months to resign from the county of Lake Health Services Department, where I have served since 2014 as a Certified Public Health Nurse.

As Lake County News has reported in previous articles, in October of 2021, the Board of Supervisors set some disastrous wheels in motion that have essentially destroyed the Health Services Department.

The Board of Supervisors, in their dubious wisdom, forced the resignation of the Health Services director just two days before the death of her husband, for whom she was the primary caregiver.

She and her husband had effectively and professionally served the county for decades, so to be treated that way was abhorrent, to say the least.

Many employees and residents were utterly appalled at the callous actions of the Lake County Board of Supervisors. Indeed, they should be ashamed.

A month later, they appointed a replacement for the director they so callously fired, a fellow from Southern California with questionable experience and dubious credentials, who likes to go by his initials.

The past 15 months of his employment has resulted in the exodus of approximately 30 staff members, many of whom, including myself, resigned under duress, who duly mourn the loss of meaningful work. That’s an average of two resignations per month, or nearly half the staff of 60 filled positions.

Every other month, he is reviewed in closed session by the Board of Supervisors, yet he remains, as the county’s sexually transmitted disease rates soar to new heights, and longstanding liaisons with emergency responders and other partners fall to new depths, along with employee morale.

Meanwhile, the county still lacks a full-time Public Health officer. Instead, we have an eight hour per week Interim Public Health officer, who has set foot in Lake County once or twice.

Rather than focusing on relevant local public health concerns, such as reducing sexually transmitted diseases, suicides, alcoholism and cancer deaths, the current director prefers to focus on generic topics such as health equity, racism and disparities that don’t particularly pertain to Lake County, seemingly as a sort of protective shield.

While I could continue to cite the multiple failings and missteps of this inexperienced chap as he collects a six-figure salary paid by local taxpayers, the problem really lies at the feet of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, an inept and weak five-member team who pretend to know what they’re doing, but who obviously do not.

Their closed session activities and ad hoc committees do not serve transparency in government, and their collective inability to make correct choices, further demonstrates glaring weakness.

Recently having rewarded themselves with a 40% pay increase, like most politicians, they are lining their own pockets while lording over the taxpayers who pay their salaries as they refuse to make the necessary decisions on behalf of the citizenry they are supposed to be working for.

Recent lawsuits filed by former employees that have settled approach the seven-figures mark. Taxpayers are shouldering this hemorrhage.

I will exempt the newly appointed District 4 supervisor from the above critique, as he merely filled a seat vacated by an elected board member who decided more money could be made by teaching local youth how to decorate cakes.

Lake County deserves better on all fronts.

Eileen C. McSorley, RN PHN lives in Nice.

Upcoming Calendar

7Jun
06.07.2023 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
East Region Town Hall
8Jun
06.08.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
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10Jun
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Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
10Jun
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10Jun
12Jun
06.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
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14Jun
06.14.2023
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