Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Alarming Health Concern

Backing up Dr. Yood's concerns about public health concerns, here is an excerpt from the April 23 budget session post that I did not publish:

Health Officer Needed
Among items of interest, a discussion of the Health Division on April 23 meeting revealed the city is still seeking a Health Officer. Meanwhile, the city is using the services of a Union County health officer who is not providing "managerial oversight."

Finance Director Ron West West said the city has 330 retail food establishments, but only 106 got inspected last year, leaving 224 that were not inspected.

"We only did 30 percent of what was required," he said.

So far in 2014, only 14 such inspections have been made.

The Health Division also is responsible for issuing dog and cat licenses, but West said only 164 dogs are licensed and only three cats. He said at least 17 households went to South Plainfield to get rabies shots for pets and now they will be receiving letters from the city saying their dogs are not registered and they face fees and penalties.

West said the city is mandated to provide public health services. He said the city has been "historically challenged" with health issues.

"We need to be at the forefront," he said.

West said the division has not been technologically sophisticated group, but plans call for a move away from paper records.


  1. Some years ago a gentleman named Mr. Kunze headed of the Health department. Mr. Kunze had a Chief Inspector and two inspectors who inspected all of the food establishments annually. The records: birth, death, marriage, were impeccably maintained. Several weeks ago I attempted to obtain my first cousins birth certificate and was turned away purportedly because I was not a close enough a kin. I was referred to Trenton. My understanding is that these public records are available on enquiry.
    The dog population was largely licensed and had received rabbis shots. Health worked hand in glove with Code Enforcement. The degradation of this department is commensurate with the degradation of our municipal government. We watch our Council Representatives whine over not having sufficient information to make a decision on the Liberty Village issue. Not one of the these representatives identified what information was lacking. Equally discouraging was the conduct of the attorney representing the prospective purchaser for failing to respond by asking the Council what it was that they wanted to know?

    I have digressed. Returning to the Health issue, it borders on criminal that our 2/3 rds of the eating and food supply establishments are uninspected. I think that locating a qualified full time Health Officer should be of the highest priority.

    Bill Kruse

  2. Demote the COP Lt and you can hire a health officer