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District Advisory Council meets

Twenty-five county residents gather in the break room of the Washington County Engineer's Office Wednesday, representing 14 county townships for a special District Advisory Council meeting. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

The Washington County Health Department has a full health board again.

Dr. Jeff Patey was appointed by a unanimous vote of the District Advisory Council’s executive committee Wednesday to fill the final seat of the health board.

The seat was left vacant after County Coroner Dr. Kenneth Leopold’s resignation at the close of October.

The meeting was officially a special business meeting called for the District Advisory Council, but with just one representative shy of the 15 needed to make a full quorum, only present members of the DAC executive committee made the official vote Wednesday.

“With that being said, we have 14, we have to have 15 for a quorum,” explained Paula Smith after taking a roll call to confirm not enough representation was present per Ohio law.

Smith serves both as the Belpre Township fiscal officer and the District Advisory Council’s secretary.

Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil confirmed without the presence of one more township or village representative or Washington County Commissioner David White, the meeting did not meet quorum requirements.

White said he was not notified of the meeting.

“I would have been there,” said White.

But both Coil and Belpre Township trustee Asa Boring stated they tried to reach White prior to the start of the meeting.

Instead, Beverly Mayor Jim Ullman and Belpre Township trustees Boring and Curt Welch unanimously voted to appoint Patey Wednesday after explaining his qualifications and reviewing their interview with the medical physician, which reportedly took place last week.

“I was involved in the interview of Dr. Patey, and I support the choice,” said White after the meeting. “He seemed to me to have a genuine desire to help out and serve the community. There is no monetary gain (for) this position, and he is a very busy physician. Nevertheless, he is willing to give of his time to make Washington County a healthy community.”

Patey opened QCA Urgent Care and Wellness Center in January on Front Street in Marietta.

But, Ullman pointed out, Patey has served as an emergency medicine physician in the county for 20 years.

“He seemed very excited to serve, and he wanted to give back more to the community,” reported Ullman.

Boring said he was impressed by the credentials of Patey and noted the doctor seems “like a very sensible man.”

Welch explained that Patey was also the only physician to return the phone calls of the executive committee and entertain a sit-down interview with Ullman, Welch, Boring and White.

“And I’m happy we’re not in any murky water with this appointment,” noted Coil. “The Ohio Revised Code says the appointment must be a medical physician, podiatrist or osteopathic physician, though the administrative code says dentist it doesn’t reflect that in the ORC.”

Though the remaining trustees present did not have the opportunity to vote on the appointment Wednesday, none voiced an objection to Patey.

Those in attendance included:

¯ Adams Township Trustee Wayne Isner.

¯ Barlow Township Trustee John Hannan.

¯ Belpre Township Trustee Dan Mason.

¯ Decatur Township Trustee Mark Eickert.

¯ Dunham Township Trustee Timothy Mathews.

¯ Fearing Township Trustee Rick Groves.

¯ Lawrence Township Trustee David Lauer.

¯ Muskingum Township Trustee Ken Schilling.

¯ Newport Township Trustee Rodney Seevers.

¯ Palmer Township trustees Allan Hill and Randy Pugh.

¯ Warren Township Trustee Joe Vickers.

¯ Waterford Township Trustee Tim Rossiter.

¯ Watertown Township trustees Gene Morris and Doug Parks.

Vickers, Mason and Schilling spoke up asking questions about Patey during the meeting, Vickers stating he was happy the executive committee found someone willing to serve out the remainder of Leopold’s term, which concludes in March 2020.

Mason said he is happy to see a full board again for the health department.

“And hopefully now having everyone show up for meetings, which I understand was an issue for a while,” he added.

Townships and villages not represented Wednesday included:

¯ Aurelius Township.

¯ Fairfield Township.

¯ Grandview Township.

¯ Independence Township.

¯ Liberty Township.

¯ Ludlow Township.

¯ Marietta Township.

¯ Salem Township.

¯ Wesley Township.

¯ Macksburg Village.

¯ New Matamoras Village.

¯ Lowell Village.

¯ Lower Salem Village.

When reached by the Times about his absence, Marietta Township Trustee Dan Ritchey stated the DAC meeting Wednesday was scheduled in conflict with his township meeting.

Patey did not return calls for comment Wednesday but will appear for his first special board meeting on Friday and first regular board meeting on Tuesday.

Washington County Health Board President Bruce Kelbaugh called the special meeting Wednesday night for the purposes of discussion pending legal actions against the board.

That special meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Washington County Health Department.

Then, the board’s regular business meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

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