As we wait to see what our ill-conceived, archaic Electoral College system will yield this time, life and drama continue locally.
The Spokane Regional Health District’s Board of Health has announced a special (and public) meeting to be held tomorrow, Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. It is a Zoom meeting that should be open to viewing by the interested parties by searching “SRHD” on youtube.com near the time of the meeting or with audio on a phone in the U.S. by dialing
United States: 1.509.495.1007
Access Code: 638 923 36#
[With proper preparation watching this meeting could be part of a student’s civic education. This is the way government actually works.]
Only written public comment will be accepted. Written comment received prior to November 5 at 11:00 a.m. will be included in the agenda packet and will become part of the official meeting record. Submit written comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the meeting members of the Board (a quorum is six of the twelve members) will hear the allegations of a “personnel issue” against Dr. Bob Lutz, the District Health Officer, made by the SRHD’s Administrator, Amelia Clark. The Board will hear Dr. Lutz’ response to the allegations, and determine by majority vote (of the Board members present) whether to terminate Dr. Lutz’ employment.
The members of the Board of Health usually perform their duties in relative obscurity. Six of them are elected officials from Spokane County cities and towns, three are the three County Commissioners and and the final three are people nominated by a County Commissioner from that Commissioner’s district and approved by the Board (Frostad, Hafner, and Kinley). (See below for the cast of characters.) It seems likely that the 6 to 6 balance between County and City/Town votes was intended–a balance worth watching as the meeting unfolds. All of these people have multiple other commitments. During a normal year the time commitment to the Board of Health is likely to be a relatively minor portion of the commitments these people juggle. (The Board’s regular meetings are on the last Thursday of the month ten months of the year.)
This is your opportunity to observe some of the workings of your local government. Ordinarily, attendance would require a trip downtown, hassling the parking, and possibly offering verbal testimony to the Board. Probably few of my readers have ever attended a Board of Health Meeting.
For help in making sense of the meeting I’ve retained the email I wrote Monday below. Pay particular attention to the cast of characters. That should help with orientation.
Keep to the high ground,
Link to Monday, November 2 email