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Huron and Crawford counties may share health commissioner

Tom Jackson • Jun 5, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Huron County's health commissioner may run Crawford County's health department, too




Tim Hollinger, Huron County's health commissioner, is waiting to find out if he's going to become Crawford County's health commissioner, too.

The health boards for the two counties are discussing whether they will share Hollinger, at least temporarily. 

Crawford County's health commissioner, W. Scott Kibler, is retiring, effective June 20. The health board in Crawford County was scheduled to interview Hollinger Thursday night, but also is talking to other health commissioner candidates. Hollinger said he's talked on the phone with the president of Crawford County's health board. 

Hollinger told his board at a meeting Thursday at the health department offices in Norwalk that three scenarios are possible and he doesn't know yet which will occur:

(1) The Crawford County board will find another candidate it likes who can start work right away. It will decide not to hire Hollinger.

(2) The board finds a replacement for Kibler it likes, but needs an interim commissioner, and Hollinger serves in the roles for a few weeks.

(3) The board likes Hollinger and hires him. He works about 20 hours a week for each county. For the first six months, if either board is unhappy with the arrangement, it can be terminated immediately.

Hollinger said that if he found himself running health departments in both counties, he'll also be evaluating how well it's working.

Crawford County is located southwest of Huron County and shares a border with it. The county seat is Bucyrus. 

Huron County's health board decided it is willing to give the arrangement a try. It unanimously approved three proposed contracts.

Hollinger currently makes $77,000 a year, which is less than what health commissioners are paid in counties such as Erie County and Ottawa County. If he becomes health commissioner for both counties, he'll make $89,400 a year, which Hollinger said is still lower than the salary of many other county health commissioners. Each county will save money by splitting the cost.

William Knapp, the president of Huron County's health board, said he is willing to see what happens if Crawford County's health board decides it is interested, but said he'll be keeping an eye on whether it works for Huron County.

"I hate to think of Huron County being a ship without a captain," Knapp said. "I'm willing to give it a  try … I don't want to be dancing on the deck when we hit an iceberg."

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