Cass County officials have swapped out health department office administrators in the hopes that by taking on additional responsibilities, the replacement will lead the department in a more favorable direction.
Bob Vernon, who had been an officer with the Logansport Police Department for 27 years, has replaced Lynda Kennedy as the office administrator.
Vernon said his goals for the department include improving the timeliness of handling permits and conducting inspections.
In order to help accomplish this, Vernon said he is in the process of acquiring the necessary certifications to assist with inspections during busy periods.
Dave Arnold, president of the Cass County Commissioners, said this was part of the reason Vernon was chosen as the replacement.
“We were looking to change directions for the health department and that office administrator position would be moved into a full-time position,” Arnold said. “Not only would it be managing the office, but also working out in the field with environmentalists... with Bob, he’s going to be put out on inspections, he’s going to be out in the field too.”
Vernon said he’ll be bringing a “commonsense approach” to the department.
“We are employed by the public, not the other way around,” he said, adding that he encourages restaurant owners and citizens to call him with questions and concerns and that he will respond to them in a timely manner.
Vernon went on to say along with becoming certified and handling the office administrative duties of bookkeeping and handling records, he’ll also play a role in helping to update the county’s emergency preparedness plan, which outlines a course of action if and when natural disasters, outbreaks and other emergencies occur.
“The health department does a lot more than people may think,” he said.
The office administrator position was formerly part-time. In a 7-0 vote Friday, the Cass County Council approved a full-time salary of $32,000 for the position and prorated Vernon’s 2013 wages in accordance to the remainder of the year.