Trumbull County Health Commissioner Dr. James Enyeart wrote a column in the July 4 Tribune. Dr. Enyeart said that the Trumbull County Board of Health (TCBOH) has retained outside legal services in situations where a conflict of interest exists instead of using the already taxpayer-paid services of the county prosecutor.
Let's look at some facts pertaining to the outside legal services employed by Trumbull County Health Department at the expense of county residents. Attorney Robert Kokor is paid by TCBOH a contracted rate of $3,250 per month. In addition to retaining Kokor, the board also retains Attorney Jack Pierson, from Akron, at a rate of $200 per hour with an average spending of $2,074 per month.
The average cost for both attorneys to remain for TCBOH over the next five years could easily exceed $319,000. Does the board really have that many conflicts of interest where they need to spend our tax dollars on outside legal services? Let's get real. More than $5,000 per month in legal fees shows more than just an occasional "conflict of interest" expenditure.
In Dr. Enyeart's own summation, over the last 10 years under his leadership and with the help of his out-of-state accountant / consultant, the health department has seen tremendous financial improvement.
It's incredible that a local government agency could thrive so well in an economy where other agencies and private citizens are struggling to just get by. Contrast the financial success of Trumbull County Health Department with the overall woes of real estate sales, home values and decreasing population of the county - to which many attribute the cause to the septic crisis that also began under Dr. Enyeart's watch. Did opportunity come on the back of the obstacle? It most always does.
Dr. Enyeart, in the past 10 years coincidentally, has gone from $50,000 per year in salary to $122,000 plus benefits and four weeks of vacation for his part-time position.
There is so much more to this story, but let's suffice to say that we citizens of Trumbull County are plagued with increased fees and costs associated with the Health Department's activities. In addition to their seemingly excessive outside legal fees for supposed conflicts of interest, we have the heavy-handed septic regulations led by the director, Frank Migliozzi, under Dr. Enyeart's supervision.
The problem at the health department is a leadership problem. These top two guys need to go. The out-of-touch Dr. Enyeart resides in Mahoning County in a home which does not have a septic system. Director Frank Migliozzi leads the environmental division with heavy-handed rules and regulations that have left Trumbull County residents, Realtors, builders and businesses with a septic crisis mess. He has been allowed to use selective enforcement and arbitrary rules under Dr. Enyeart's direction.
Here is what we need in Trumbull County. We need a Health Commissioner whose skill is not aimed at the financial success of the Trumbull County Health Department, but one who will see the big picture and work for the financial success of the entire county. We need a Health Commissioner who lives in Trumbull to ensure he is connected with the economic and environmental needs of the county. We need someone who will be committed to working full-time and who will take the time to understand the implications of heavy-handed septic regulations and their impact on ordinary folks.