hears requests to revisit county nurse's salary
Wanda English Burnett
people attended and spoke in support of county health nurse Vickie
Powell at the first regular council meeting of the year held January
Dr. Harley Robinson, president of the Ripley County Health Board,
said the board was disappointed at the councils decision
to reduce Powells salary by $7,000. He noted that she has
had increasing duties and workload and has formed positive relationships
with several entities including Margaret Mary Community Hospital,
the EMS and fire communities.
Robinson posed the question, "Will this reduction in salary
result in reduction of services for county residents?"
Dr. Robinson spoke to the importance of Powells position
and her dedication to the well being of the 27,400 citizens she
serves. He asked if the decision could be revisited by the council
and submitted a graph showing her work.
Appie Thompson, health nurse for Milan schools, also spoke on
Powells behalf. She noted that the county nurse has worked
very closely with the school nurses at all the county schools
with outstanding results. Her services and expertise have
been invaluable to the health of our communities, she told
Thompson cited how Powell had led the county when the H1N1 Pandemic
occurred in 2009. Over 40% of Ripley County residents were vaccinated.
She reported this being a higher percentage than the state and
national percentages immunization rate for H1N1 vaccinations.
There were many more statistics Thompson gave the council noting
that Powell is ahead of her game when making sure the residents
she serves are well served.
Immunization clinics were set up in the schools where the staff
also received inoculations. The Medical Reserve Corps Team was
developed for future emergency situations with only 26 of Indianas
92 counties having this.
Thompson reported Ripley County as being one of the lowest income
counties in the state where 10.4% live below poverty level. She
said the residents are in great need of the county health nurses
care and asked the council to look again at lowering the salary,
meaning it would also lower the healthcare of the people they
Scott Corbin, EMT for the Sunman Life Squad also spoke on Powells
behalf. He said, She (Powell) goes out of her way
to make sure all of the squad members have their immunizations.
Council president Dephane Smith said they would review the situation
and get back with those making the requests at a later date.
In other business:
Dephane Smith will remain president of the council with
Donald Dunbar being president pro-tem.
Jeff Volz was appointed to the Vernon Forks Water Board;
Dephane Smith to the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Committee;
and Donald Dunbar to the Soil and Water committee.
A request from Mary Ann McCoy to transfer monies to pay
for clerical work was tabled until the next meeting.
Ric Hertels request to remain a full time employee
in the prosecutors office was unanimously approved. This
is a yearly formality by state law.
Commissioners discussed plans for the future construction
of the annex building with some ideas being shown to new council
member, Bill McDonald. McDonald requested to know the architectural
firms involved, saying he was new to the board.
Dee Dee (Juanita) Kaiser will replace Ben Peetz E911 Advisory
Committee and Bill McDonald was appointed to the EMS Advisory
Kelly Vollet, technology director, was praised for her
excellent work in writing grants that were obtained through the
Rising Sun Regional Foundation.
The short council meeting was adjourned with the council having
another irregular date for the month of February due to Presidents
Day. They will meet on Tuesday, February 22. The regular meetings
for the council is the third Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
at the annex building. They will resume that schedule after Februarys
ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Newcomer to the council, Bill McDonald,
right, asks questions about the proposed Ripley County Annex
project. Kelly Vollet, technology director, standing, holds
plans for an idea for the annex with Dee Dee (Juanita) Kaiser,
council member, looking on.