CORNING, NY (WETM) – The Corning City Council may be disbanding the city Board of Health and the City’s Health Officer Position.
Councilman Mark ReSue, I-7, proposed the agenda says that “the taxpayers are paying a significant amount of money for a service that they are not receiving.” Resue said that the Health Officer, Dr. Gary Enders is making $4,500 a year.
“He makes the same amount as I do and I do quite a bit of work for the city,” said ReSue.
The argument is that the Steuben County Health Department is the local health department making the Board of Health in Corning obsolete and the pandemic has made that even more clear than ever.
“Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, I don’t feel our local health board is doing anything in the means of our taxpayer’s dollars to help with the situation,” said ReSue. “I just feel that we can save those taxpayer dollars and use the shared service.”
Mayor Bill Bolland says that the City of Corning is mandated by state law to have both a Board of Health and a Health Officer, but others question what the law says.
“Mckinley Public Health Law refers to whether we were required or not as a municipality to obtain that service and we believe that there is some grey area in that,” said ReSue.
It was mentioned in the meeting that other cities such as Elmira do not have Boards of Health. “Some of the surrounding municipalities that surround us in the Twin Tiers chose to operate without a board of health,” said ReSue.
To get clarity on the law, the City Council took a vote to table a final vote until the legal council has time to review the law and gives insight to the Council people.