Tim Hollinger has been hired to serve as the health commissioner for Crawford County.
But he's keeping his current job as health commissioner for Huron County, a position he's had for 10 years.
"We'll work very hard to make it 20 hours in each county," Hollinger said Thursday. "There could be weeks I'm present more in one county or the other, especially if there's a natural disaster."
Willard, for example, suffered storm damage this week, including a loss of power to local restaurants inspected by the health department, he noted.
Crawford County's health board and Huron County's health board had discussed sharing a commissioner for several weeks. The discussion was prompted by the departure of Crawford's health commissioner, Scott Kibler, who is retiring after seven years at the helm.
Crawford's health board hired Hollinger on Wednesday. He'll officially start work on Monday.
Linda Efaw, president of Crawford County's health board, and health board member Garnet "Sis" Love could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The contracts approved by the two health boards gives each board the right to back out of the agreement during a six-month probationary period.
"It is a pilot project. We are going to take it slow and watch very carefully, make sure Huron County does not have any ramifications from me not being here full time," Hollinger said.
Although Hollinger is getting a raise in light of his additional responsibilities — he'll be paid $89,400 a year, instead of the $77,000 a year he currently receives — sharing the salary between two counties will save both money. He also points out that his new salary is still below what health commissioners are paid in other counties, including Erie County.
Hollinger said he'll look for other opportunities for the two counties to save money.
He said he won't follow a regular schedule for when he'll be in each county. Instead, although he'll try to divide his time, his schedule will be driven by where he's needed each day.
"It will really be driven by the needs of each community," he said.