Friday, October 19, 2012

Confronting the Board of Health

At last night's Board of Health meeting, more than a dozen people made comments before being stopped by the notorious Marimba ring tone 5 minute timer. I began by reading an excerpt from a letter that my wife, Rebecca wrote to the Mayor and Town Council. It was read at Monday's Council meeting:
"....the idea that the township has no authority over the Board of Health decisions is ludicrous - the Board of Health has to be responsible to somebody. You appointed the Board of Health. And although they may do a good job when it comes to Town Health issues involving humans, they know little about taking care of animals or running an animal shelter.
 Ms. Lore is one person making decisions that affect the entire township, and she appears to have no supervision above her, and no input from the public. Especially in the case of a director who is only an acting director, you would think there would be some sort of supervisor working with her and watching to see if she indeed, could handle the position. 
Whenever I have attended a BOH meeting, it seems like Ms. Lore makes a decision and no one even discusses or questions her - They seem to be "Yes" people who rubber-stamp what she decides to do."
Jeff Coltenback reaffirmed the commitment he made at Monday's meeting to take over responsibility for the training and adoption of all the dogs now at Bloomfield;s shelter -- including Memphis. I was able to shoot a video clip of his concluding comments.

 Some of my comments:
One of my unanswered questions in my September letter was whether you could refer me to a recent meeting where there had been a non-unanimous vote on an issue that Ms. Lore raised. 
I believe it was Mr. Mcloughlin who told us--at a recent meeting--that you never talk to each other between meetings regarding any issues that are on the agenda. Well many of us on the outside talk every day in the social media about some of the major issues that you seem determined to ignore. We do it publicly, so folks like Mr. Fitzpatrick can cherry pick rumors that he finds inaccurate. We do it partially out of frustration that we can't get all the facts we'd like to get from the Health Department or the Shelter.  
This week, our frustration at the lack of accurate information from this Board has led some residents to start yet another Facebook page. This one is not primarily about Memphis -- it's about YOU. It's called "The Truth About Bloomfield's Health Department." Rather than sharing rumors, anyone can share verifiable facts and documents about what's been going on with the Board and the Health Department. This may be your first chance for one or more of you to make a difference on your Board -- OR your last chance. 
Not sure if it was in response to many of our complaints about their unresponsiveness, but one of the members, Mcloughlin, actually chose to engage in a brief discussion with several of the commenters. Elkins also made a couple of comments. The 3 women on the Board, however, still seem to have lost their voices.

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