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Board of Health Stands By Public Health Director, Draws Line in Sand

Written By Editor on 11/16/13 | 11/16/13

Following the suspension of Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington in November first's special meeting of the county board, there was a motion brought forth by Middleburgh Supervisor Jim Buzon to also suspend Public Health Director Asante Shipp-Hilts, which after a prolonged discussion, was tabled.
Fast-forwarding to yesterday's county board meeting, Board of Health President Betsy Bernocco briefly read a resolution that was recently passed and signed by a majority of their organization in support of Ms. Shipp-Hilts. The resolution "expressed our total confidence... in the abilities of our Public Health Director."
Mrs. Bernocco, who previously served on the county board as the Supervisor of Richmondville, drew a proverbial line in the sand by stating the "power rests on the Board of Health" to determine Ms. Shipp-Hilts' future, and not the Board of Supervisors.
Dr. Joseph Luz, also a member of the Board of Health, stated that "We feel Asante has done an excellent job," and that it "strongly support[s] her to continue in that position." Dr. Luz concluded his remarks by adding that removing her would be an "error."
Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone followed up Mrs. Bernocco's and Dr. Luz's statements by asking if "either of you read the Fitzmaurice Report," of which both responded that they had, and Mr. Milone replied simply that "was all he wanted to ask." No further discussion was had on the matter.
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