Knox County Commission set to consider Board of Health power change

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County commissioners will cast their first votes Monday evening on a proposal to shift the Board of Health‘s power.

An ordinance change on commission’s agenda proposes moving the health board to an advisory role.

Commission is set to vote on the change on first reading at its virtual meeting. That means, if the move passes Monday night, the item would still go to a second reading in January, where it would be discussed and voted on once more.

The proposal gained traction at last week’s County Commission Work Session. Last Monday, Commission voted 8-3 to move forward with no recommendation to their December 21 meeting.

Under the proposed ordinance change, requested by Commissioner Kyle Ward, the Board of Health’s policy-making power would shift into the hands of the health department, specifically its health officer Dr. Martha Buchanan.

“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 at the December 14 meeting.

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel will be live tweeting the meeting. You can follow her on Twitter:

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