KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – One Knox County commissioner’s proposal to transfer the Board of Health’s power solely to the Health Department’s Dr. Martha Buchanan gained traction Monday night.
Knox County Commission held its work session virtually.
During the meeting, commissioners gave the green light to continue discussions about moving the Board of Health to an advisory role.
The proposal was requested by Commissioner Kyle Ward.
“It’s keeping the current health board that we have, with the current members that we have, and making them basically into an advisory board, instead of a board that can set mandates and policies,” Ward said.
Under the proposed ordinance change, the policy-making power would shift into the hands of the health department, specifically its health officer Dr. Buchanan.
Discussion about whether to do that was a key topic during Commission’s work session.
“I will wear my mask. I will do my 6 feet apart. I will do everything that I can. But it’s time, I’m sorry. This unelected board has made Knox County citizens criminals,” said Commissioner Carson Dailey.
“If we do leave it up to one person, we are only leaving it up to one person, we don’t necessarily have the perspectives of various members of the medical profession,” said Commissioner Courtney Durrett.
Commission voted 8-3 to move forward with no recommendation to next week’s meeting. Commissioners will take up the proposed ordinance change at their Monday, December 21 meeting.