Policy Revisions Discussed During Health Department Board Meeting

Although Ste. Genevieve County Health Department board chairman Robert Bach said he had just found “mainly grammatical or cosmetic” issues with executive director Sandra Bell’s recommended changes to the administrative policy manual, it took 45 minutes for the board to go through them with Bell during the board’s monthly meeting on November 25.

This was after the board spent more than 30 minutes reviewing suggested changes by Bell and her staff for the personnel policy manual.

“The formatting wasn’t that great,” Bach said of the administrative policy manual, noting that there were no page numbers.

One issue that caught the attention of board member Carl Kinsky, an attorney and the former county prosecuting attorney, was an addition Bach had made under “Values of the organization” part of the “Vision Statement.” After saying the organization’s first goal was to “respect each other,” the original line following said “Conflicts remain constructive.” Bach had added the phrase “and removed from public view.”

“So, in other words, if we have things that need resolution and needs time to form a resolution, I think what we should do is  keep that removed from public view to the best of…” Bach started to explain.

“I don’t like that language,” Kinsky said. “I think that sounds like we’re trying to keep things out of public view and that just generally doesn’t sound good. I understand most of us will want to work things out among ourselves, but I don’t think keeping the conflicts from public view is necessarily a good idea.”

“But the question is, if you and I disagree, if that is viewed by the public, would that be constructive, either?” Bach asked.

“Well, I think it can be,” Kinsky answered. “I definitely think it can be. It very well might be, sure. If you and I disagree on something, it would be appropriate. I think that having something that explicitly says, ‘Conflicts are to be removed from public view’ to me just doesn’t sound democratic.”

See complete story in the December 4 edition of the Herald.

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