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Board of Health accepts resignation

Following two weeks’ discussion concerning performance expectations, the Marietta-Belpre Board of Health accepted the resignation of the joint city health commissioner Friday.

The public unanimous vote Friday morning followed three private executive sessions of the board and a performance meeting with Health Commissioner Anne Goon by members of the board over a span of two weeks, according to Marietta Mayor Josh Schlicher.

Goon said Friday that she had informed the board of her resignation, per the requirement to give 60 days’ notice.

“I have accepted a position at another health department larger and closer to my home,” she said, noting residence in Holmes County which she’s maintained while working in Marietta on weekdays and returning to northwest Ohio on weekends.

Goon said succession planning falls to the board in the timeframe available through her departure.

“This is certainly a challenging time to hire public health professionals for a whole variety of positions. So, I wish them well in doing that,” she said.

The board will also be charged with filling a nursing role within the department following the retirement of Julie DePuy on Friday.

Timeline of performance discussion

In January, Schlicher explained, the board decided by consensus to retain the same committee assignments for 2021 as in the previous year.

He said the board’s personnel committee is made up of board members Suzanne Baker and Joel Whitaker.

“So the board then gave the personnel committee the duty to meet with Anne Goon,” he said. “And there was a list of questions that were asked of her performance at the department.”

Feb. 8:

¯ The Marietta-Belpre Board of Health meets in executive session, according to Schlicher, at 10 a.m.

¯ Both Schlicher and Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz join Baker and Board Member Laurie Strahler to meet with Goon at 1 p.m.

“Joel Whitaker could not attend so Laurie Strahler went in his absence,” said Schlicher

Feb. 10:

¯ Goon responds via email to the board’s questions.

“She responded in writing to the board … (via) email,” said Schlicher.

Feb. 12:

¯ Schlicher said Goon’s responses were discussed in a second special board meeting held in executive session on the following Friday in the conference room of 304 Putnam Ave., Marietta.

Friday:

Following an hour-long executive session of the board including both mayors and both cities’ law directors (Paul Bertram for Marietta and Tom Webster for Belpre), the board unanimously voted to accept Goon’s resignation.

As of press time Friday, Bertram had not returned calls for comment or clarification on voiced “stipulations” to be included in a resignation agreement mentioned when the board returned from executive session Friday.

Schlicher also noted minutes of the two special board meetings of Feb. 8 and Feb. 12 had not yet been approved by the board and therefore were not available for public perusal Friday, despite the regular board meeting held Friday when otherwise a board would have the authority to approve such minutes.

What’s next

See Monday’s edition of the Times concerning the availability of at-home antigen testing discussed during the regular board meeting Friday. Dates of availability were not provided to the Times by Goon as of press time Friday.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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