Still distressed by mandatory budget cuts, the Davis County Health Board Tuesday decided to lobby the county commissioners to fill two vacancies in the health department created by the county's hiring freeze.

The health department has money in its budget to pay for the two employees, the board decided, and should ask for their replacement.Board members are upset by what they see as the commission's arbitrary decision to mandate budget cuts in all county departments and continue the hiring freeze.

One board member, Steve Romney, appeared at the county's public hearing on the 1989 budget in December to protest the health department's cuts, saying the county is diverting money to pay for its new jail and court complex at the expense of public health.

Under state law, county health departments are funded by a separate mill levy or tax assessment but the department's budget and tax levy must still be approved by the county commission.

The county's hiring freeze has prevented the department from replacing an environmental health specialist and a tobacco education technician who ran the county's anti-smoking clinics and education sessions.

The health department took a nearly $100,000 cut in revenue for 1989.