Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rant on Health Officer Residency

This fuss about the Health Officer reminded me that many municipalities belong to public health consortiums, such as the Westfield Regonal Health Department, which serves eight municipalities and the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission, which serves five municipalities. When it comes to filling the gap that exists in Plainfield's public health coverage, quibbling over residency makes no sense. Ruby Hodge served Plainfield for many years while living elsewhere, as did more recent Health Officers. So now the out-of-towner has been hired and has a year to move to Plainfield. Deal with it, or maybe we would rather deal with an outbreak of contagious disease or further lapses in delivery of vital public health services here.



  1. Hey Mo, Hey Larry, Hey Curley and Hey Shemp how is it going. Pay your taxes and we can have a Public Health Officer. Or better yet ... lets find another dying town and let the four stooges be council members there and not reside.

  2. I'd like to understand how this position brings about a positive impact on the health of the residents? Do we get funds for lead poisoning, HIV and other public health issues or is it mainly about inspecting restaurants?

    1. Deborah, Besides inspecting restaurants, grocery stores, etc which is very important to public health. They are a key contact for the rental community and with 54% of the population being renters in Plainfield the health officer is responsible for making sure they live in sanitary conditions, no bugs/rodents, peeling lead paint, functioning plumbing, etc. Remember the Connelly properties spewing raw sewage, a health officer would have been beneficial there. As far as public funds, it would be great if Plainfield could get some if they exist to help those in need. So the overall impact is huge to the community and once up and running will be a great positive for all the residents

  3. Excuse me, Deborah, but the health officer and his or her underlings inspects eateries in town and other places to make sure they meet health codes. Plainfield has few of these inspected and it shows what disrespect the "Stooges" have for the health of us in the city when they quibble over residency, when they didn't care under Sharon. And what's up with Jerry anyway. If he's playing with Sharon again, I'm taking my vote elsewhere.

  4. Deborah,

    The position has a positive impact on the health of the residents because it focuses on public health issues, live HIV, immunization, communicable disease control, health screenings, etc. This is in addition to health inspections, animal control, vital statistics, and more. A city the size of Plainfield (50,000-60,000 residents) needs a full-time health officer directing the staff--the discussion on food establishments was highlighted in recent comments because we found out that last year--2013--only about 1/3 of our food establishments had been inspected. Please go to the "Health and Social Services" page on the city's website. There is a complete description of the responsibilities of the Health Officer for everyone to see. I am hopeful that they will then understand the need for a full-time health officer.