Severance paid to health agency officers was waste of money

The article in the Sept. 3 Herald, “Resign or be fired: County health officer had a choice,” has led me to express my feelings. As a former employee and program manager at the Snohomish Health District for 17 years, I am shocked that such an extremely large three months of severance pay was allowed and approved by the county Board of Health.

We read and hear about numerous staff cutbacks over the past few years and subsequently, about $90,000 was gifted to two administrators. These dollars could have been used for hiring a new staff person in community health to promote healthy behavior or in communicable diseases to investigate issues with TB or STDs or in environmental health for another restaurant inspector or sanitarian.

Assuming the article by Eric Stevick, whose writing for many years has been excellent, is accurate, and these top public health officials were to “resign or be fired,” I find it to be very unethical and a misuse of public dollars.

If an employee is leaving for whatever reasons, $90,000 can sure produce an “amicable” departure, but was it necessary?

I’m sure a new full-time staff members would have a much greater impact on good public health than this waste of public dollars.

Frank Busichio


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