Despite still lingering questions about the independence of the health department in Davis County government, members of the Davis Board of Health have started to tire of their yearlong battle with the County Commission.
"I think we're mired here," said board member David Luce."I'm not going to say it's egos or kingdom building, but we have gotten off track."Luce was one of five members who expressed a growing distaste for pursuing the battle during a two-hour discussion session Wednesday night.
The session was held to determine a response to an opinion by Davis County Attorney Jerry Hess, released Sept. 1, stating that he felt the Board of Health and Health Department should remain under county control, not branch off as separate entities.
Although he agreed that the opinion may have holes, Luce did not agree with suggestions of further action, such as a second legal opinion or an appeal to the Utah attorney general.
"We need to sit down with the commissioners and work this out," Luce said. "We need to decide what is the best system for delivering health care."
At an earlier commission meeting, Hess made the same plea to the three county commissioners.
"Folks, they (board of health members) are not going anywhere," Hess said. "You need to sit down and resolve the problems."
Any dispute the board had with Hess' opinion did not disturb or surprise him, because the vagueness of the law makes an absolutely correct interpretation nearly impossible.
"This doesn't have all of the answers, because all of the answers are not (in the law)," he said, referring to titles 17 and 26A of Utah State Code.
Title 17 determines the role of local and county governments, while 26A deals specifically with health departments and boards.
Other members of the Davis Board of Health called for further action, charging that Hess had ignored convenient parts of both titles to support his opinion.
"Nowhere can I see that Health Department is part of the county," said board member Monty Keller. "The law provides for some funding from the county and the duplication of some policies. Those are to ensure that the department doesn't go down in flames," not to indicate that the county remains in control of the department.
Among those who disagreed with seeking another opinion was board member Richard Lemon, who also questioned whether the time spent for the argument had hampered health care in the county.
Because no agenda was published for the meeting, the Davis Board of Health did not take any actions Wednesday night.