Local Government

Finalist chosen to lead health department

The McHenry County Board of Health has selected its candidate to supervise the health department.

The decision came Monday evening after the health board and county staff interviewed two finalists for county public health administrator. Health board members and county government staff are coming up with an employment offer, and the candidate will be revealed once the offer is accepted, health department spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush said in a statement.

The role of public health administrator has been vacant since Patrick McNulty retired at the end of May. About 12 finalists were chosen from a pool of 55 applicants.

The health department oversees a $7 million budget – a balance of grants, local taxes and fees – and 135 full-time-equivalent employees, according to its 2013 annual report. Its responsibilities include restaurant inspections, animal control, monitoring disease outbreaks, health education and administering the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance program.

State law gives the health board discretion over hiring and firing employees. The County Board appoints the health board and has discretion over the department's budget.

McNulty, who worked at the health department for 35 years, was appointed administrator in 2001. Personnel and Administration Manager Joseph Gugle has been acting as interim administrator until a successor is named.

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