After serving on the Public Health Advisory Council since 2003, I have decided to resign. The PHAC is an advisory body for the Clark County Board of Health, which is comprised of County Commissioners David Madore, Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart. I am shocked at the lack of integrity and disregard for fair process that Madore and Mielke have shown in appointing Don Benton as director of county environmental services. The appointment demonstrates an obvious discounting of public input and lack of concern about the misfit in Benton’s qualifications and the position requirements. Furthermore it demonstrates the commissioners’ unwillingness to consider the sage advice of County Administrator Bill Barron, who stated that their actions would “devastate the organization,” or to consider Stuart’s dissenting view.
The commissioners are the Board of Health and as such are in part responsible for county health policy. This is especially concerning in times of crisis when they may be tasked to make decisions that will save or endanger lives. I no longer trust that Madore and Mielke will listen to the wisdom of advisers, have the integrity to make sound judgments or the ability to guide health policy safely. It has been an honor to serve on the PHAC but I can no longer do so.