Search begins for county health administrator

LYNDON — Anne Gray, Osage County Health Department administrator, spoke with the Osage County Commission Monday to begin the process of finding her successor.

“We said in March, we’d start talking about finding a replacement for me,” Gray said. “It’s March.”

Commissioners discussed the best person for the job, whether that someone have a nursing or administrative background.

“Nurses look at things differently than a business person would,” Gray said. “However, on top of that statement, sometimes it would be good to have a third nurse in the office. If a nurse had been an administrator or director of nurses somewhere, that would help. Somebody has to know how to read a profit and loss statement, how to write a budget. The hardest thing is the grant reporting.”

“Many of these jobs, at the county level, they need someone qualified in being an administrator more than (that area),” said Gaylord Anderson, commissioner.

Gray and commissioners focused on the pay range for the position, to be between $18.50 and $22.50, and suggested a four-week training period.

“I’m thinking we want someone started in June, so they can disentangle from where they’re at,” Kuykendall said. “It’s probably time to start advertising.”

That would give Gray July to work with the new hire.

“I hope my last day is Aug. 3,” Gray said.

In other business, the commissioner

• approved the courthouse hosting a display on Barner Brown, paleontologist credited with discovering the first fossils of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the 1800s. The display, developed by students at Washburn Rural High School, honors the Carbondale native.

The display is currently visiting the Osage City Public Library, and is set to move to the courthouse next week. The following week, it will move to the Lyndon Carnegie Library. Commissioners heard that signs will be placed on U.S. Highway 75, marking Carbondale as Brown’s birthplace.

• approved Pat Walsh, county counselor, and Rhonda Beet, county clerk, submit a bill to the state for per-diem and lawyer fees for John James Coffman, a convicted sexual predator arrested in 2013, who spent three years housed at the Osage County Jail.

“$32,000 and some expert fees,” Walsh said. “There is a process for submitting it all to the Attorney General. You submit it to them, they deny it, then you submit it to some legislative office.”

• approved paying the health department administrator’s stipend per year at $2,500.

• conducted a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, with Shari Weber. Upon return to open session, commissioners suggested needing to go into a further session with Walsh. Commissioners later conducted 30- and 5-minute sessions for attorney-client privilege. No action was taken upon return to open session.

• approved change orders.

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