191017-yh-news-needles-5.jpg

FILE — The Yakima County Health District Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at 1210 Ahtanum Ridge Drive in Union Gap, Wash.

The Yakima Health District Board of Health will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on Zoom, with three member appointments on the agenda.

There won’t be a chance for oral comments at the regular monthly meeting, according to information on the health district website. Written comments received before 3 p.m. Tuesday will be summarized or read into the record. Those who want to provide written comments should email ryan.ibach@co.yakima.wa.us with the subject line “Written Communications — January 27th.”

The meeting will include discussion of three vacancies on the board, which helps guide health district operations. Members are three county commissioners, two elected city officials and two citizen members. Health board members are not paid.

Current board chair Gail Weaver is among applicants for the citizen seat. Others are Dr. Dave Atteberry, Jodi Daly, Ronda Edwards, Dr. Raul Garcia, Guadalupe Huitron-Lilly, Lyndsey Bazan, Dr. Christopher Schmelzer, Peggy Steere and Dr. Joel Thome.

Applicants for the two elected official seats include current members Barbara Harrer of Harrah and Dr. Kay Funk of Yakima. Others are Patricia Byers of Yakima, Naila Duval of Toppenish, Beth Husted of Zillah, Julie Schilling of Union Gap and Jose Trevino of Granger.

On Jan. 5, Yakima County commissioners approved new rules governing appointments to the board. Under the new ordinance, city and town elected officials are allowed to serve four consecutive two-year terms and citizen members are allowed two consecutive four-year terms. That would disqualify Weaver and Harrer from reappointment.

The three positions expired at the end of 2020, but their terms were extended by a month in action taken during the regular December meeting.

Coronavirus Coverage

Because of health and safety concerns, the Herald-Republic is allowing unlimited access to our COVID-19 stories and resources. If you are able to support local news by subscribing, support our journalism. Click here to begin your subscription and access all of our local coverage.

.

Commissioner Amanda McKinney has said officials approved new rules after learning the health board wasn’t following its policy when making appointments. She said the health board in November planned to reinstall existing members of expired terms without advertising the positions.

But at least one board member, Dr. Sean Cleary, disputes that. He said the health board fell behind because of the pandemic and planned on extending the expired terms for only a month so the positions could be advertised.

Since then, a new group — Yakima Health First — formed in response to changes county commissioners made to rules governing the health

board.

Get more information and learn how to joint the meeting here: https://www.yakimacounty.us/1195/Board-of-Health.

This story has been updated.