Editorial: Sanitarian snafuWe’re not sure if the March resignation of Nobles-Rock Community Health Services Sanitarian Jason Kloss caught the agency by surprise, though it shouldn’t have.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
We’re not sure if the March resignation of Nobles-Rock Community Health Services Sanitarian Jason Kloss caught the agency by surprise, though it shouldn’t have.
Kloss’ long-term, full-time employment status became uncertain when Nobles County announced plans to establish its own combined health and human services agency, after Rock County opted to split from the partnership.
Rock County, in a joint powers agreement with Nobles County for public health for several decades, has joined Lincoln-Lyon-Murray-Pipestone Public Health (effective Jan. 1, 2012) in the newly named Southwest Health and Human Services agency. This is Kloss’ new employer — and, in the meantime, the NRCHS faces the difficulty of filling a post that could be eliminated when the Rock-Nobles separation is complete.
Last week, NRCHS board members learned a required notification to the Minnesota Department of Health following Kloss’ departure wasn’t completed. That’s probably the least significant problem, though.
Since the NRCHS faces a state law requiring it to fill the registered sanitarian position within 180 days — or sign a service agreement of a minimum of five years with MDH — the agency will likely need to find someone on a part-time, temporary basis.
A contract with MDH would come at a greater financial cost than was previously the case, or — get this — NRCHS could ask Kloss if he could be contracted on an interim basis. Then, the situation will present itself anew when NRCHS dissolves.
At a time where government entities are increasingly seeking new ways to collaborate and save taxpayer money — see Rock County’s teaming up with four other counties — Nobles County needs to do the same. We can’t afford the alternative.