By Michael Howell
Public Health Nurse Judy Griffin made a last minute appeal to the County Commissioners on Wednesday, September 14, to try and salvage the Registered Nurse (RN) position that would be eliminated from her office under the proposed FY 2012 county budget.
Griffin told the Commissioners that her office could not function with only two RNs on staff. She proposed using a proportion of funds from a bioterrorism grant that included funding for an RN position to cover the costs. She also suggested that the revenue projection for the coming year being used in the budget was low at about $12,000 and could more realistically be projected at $20,000.
The Commissioners balked at this idea. Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher said that he didn’t consider it appropriate to use funds that are tied to some grant purpose to fund regular salaries, nor was he willing to accept a change in revenue projections at such a late date in the budget process.
“But if you are saying that you can’t get your task orders done, that’s a different story,” said Kanenwisher. “If you are saying that we are going to lose a $200,000 grant to save $40,000, we don’t want to do that.”
Griffin said that was very close to what she was saying.
Commissioner Ron Stoltz said that he was not prepared to make any changes or amendments to the budget at this time.
The commission decided to stick with the current planned cut of one RN position in the Public Health office, on the assumption that if the situation leads to an inability to complete grant related task orders that an amendment to the budget at that time would be considered.