County accepting applications to serve on county’s Board of Health

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By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer

Archuleta County is seeking qualified applicants to serve on an Archuleta County Board of Health and help stand up the Archuleta County Public Health Department (ACPHD).

The announcement comes after the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) and La Plata County Board of County Commissioners each voted unanimously on Nov. 15 to dissolve San Juan Basin Public Health, with that dissolution effective Dec. 31, 2023.

Applications for Archuleta County’s board are due by Jan. 20, 2023.

According to a press release, “Archuleta County is accepting applications for qualified appointees to its Board of Health that will be empowered to meet in an organizational capacity for the purpose of ensuring that Archuleta County’s public health department (‘ACPHD’) is ready to be fully operational on Jan. 1, 2024.”

The press release notes that the board’s organizational actions “may include but are not limited to”: 

• Selecting a public health director for ACPHD.

• Recommending a budget for the ACPHD to be included in the 2024 budget for Archuleta County.

• Developing public and general policies for the health department.

• Securing the employees, property, contracts and leases as may be necessary to operate the ACPHD beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

The BoCC will choose, according to the press release, “members of the public who live in Archuleta County and have the education, experience or a combination of both in finance, public administration, public governance, or a public health discipline such as environmental health, health education, epidemiology, social and behavioral health, biostatistics, or public health administration.”

The press release notes being on the Board of Health is a voluntary position and members will not receive compensation for their services, but “shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of their duties.”

It further notes meeting requirements will vary depending on workload, and prospective members should be prepare to meet on a monthly or bi-weekly basis “as necessary” throughout 2023.

“Beginning January 1, 2024, the Board of Health will be required to conduct regular meetings at least once every three months at such times as may be established by the Board of Health,” it states.

The document outlines that the BoCC “is considering the most effective structure for the Board of Health.”

Initially, board members will serve staggered terms, with each position serving a five-year term after the initial terms.

Interested applicants should submit an application, which can be downloaded from www.archuletacounty.org, no later than Jan. 20, 2023, according to the press release.

Interviews will then be conducted during an open public meeting in late January or early February, it notes.

Interviewees, it notes, will be offered the option of attending in person or via Zoom. 

“The BoCC reserves the right to appoint one, several, or none of the respondent candidates to the Board of Health and may withdraw or terminate the invitation in its discretion for any reason, including its own convenience, at any time,” the press release notes.

The press release further adds a disclaimer that materials provided to the county may be subject to public disclosure, candidate qualifications may be discussed in open public meetings, and that the county is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and Colorado Open Meeting Law.

In showing the press release to the commissioners for their review at a work session on Tuesday morning, County Manager Derek Woodman informed the commissioners that the solicitation mimics what La Plata County is doing.

He also noted to the commissioners it would be “advantageous” to get moving on the formation of the board and, in response to a question from Commissioner Warren Brown, confirmed that this will essentially form the transitional team for the public health department.

randi@pagosasun.com