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Mental Health Board seeks to fill two vacancies

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 12:08 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 12, 2014 3:41 p.m. CDT

A stable McHenry County Mental Health Board is losing two of the members who were brought in to bring that stability.

Board Vice President Carrie Smith, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake, is moving to Jerusalem to preach, and member Heather Murgatroyd is stepping down as well, citing her frequent business travel.

Both were part of a three-member slate appointed last year by the County Board to bring change to a mental health board that critics, which included a majority of the County Board committee in charge or recommending appointments, alleged was in desperate need of it.

Interim Executive Director Lyn Orphal said Monday that Smith and Murgatroyd will leave a void that she hopes is filled by equally motivated people.

"They're both going to be missed tremendously. It's a dynamic board, and they've done a tremendous amount of work. With everything that's been going on, they've contributed quite a bit, and it will be a shame to lose them," Orphal said.

The nine-member unpaid board is responsible for governance of the board. Its primary goal is to dole out money from a special county property tax levy to entities that work with the mentally and developmentally disabled. It has faced significant budgetary challenges in recent years with the drop in property tax revenue, and critics allege that the board's fiscal woes have been exacerbated by overreach in its mission and the decision to build a massive expansion to its headquarters.

Murgatroyd and Smith were appointed by the County Board in early 2013 from a pool of a dozen applicants to bring reforms to the Mental Health Board. They were chosen over the incumbent board president, who was not selected for reappointment. Seven of the nine members have been appointed in the past 15 months.

Smith's husband has been transferred to Jerusalem for his job with the church. Smith herself will be pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. and special assistant to the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.,

"It's a great opportunity," said Smith, whose last day at Bethany is June 15.

Interested applicants for the two open seats have until June 3 to apply. Applicants will be later interviewed by the County Board Public Health and Human Services Committee, and its recommendations will be forwarded to the full County Board for a vote.

More Information

The McHenry County Board is looking to fill two vacancies on the Mental Health Board.

Interested people have until 2 p.m. June 3 to apply for the seats on the nine-member unpaid board, for terms to expire Jan. 1, 2017. Applications can be found online at www.co.mchenry.il.us, or picked up at the County Board offices at the county Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock.

The board is particularly interested in applicants with experience in financial management and familiarity with operating boards and commissions. Applicants cannot be employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services, and cannot be a board member or employee of any service receiving Mental Health Board funding.

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