through the lens

Keep Health Board? Or lose unelected power as advisors?

At its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting, Knox County Commission will vote, on second reading, whether or not to dissolve the Knox County Board of Health and, in its place, allow for creation of a county health “advisory board” for Dr. Martha Buchanan, right, Knox County Health Department senior director. This new system would, according to proponents of this change, create more accountability to voters by making one person, Buchanan, ultimately responsible for county health decisions impacting businesses, for example, instead of the current 10-person Board. Knox County Government (Mayor Glenn Jacobs, above) would have power to remove Buchanan from her post if enough public feedback came back against her decisions. Do you agree with this proposed change by Commission?

is this too much power for a 90-percent unelected Board of Health (except Jacobs), such as when they ordered the closing of some businesses in attempt to curb COVID-19? Or do you trust the Board and its collective expertise on medical matters enough to think it should retain power? Let us know by calling Presstalk at 865-671-TALK (8255) or e-mailing