Thursday, 19 November 2020 13:24

Saratoga County: New Leader at Public Health

Saratoga County: New Leader at Public Health

BALLSTON SPA — The four-month-long search is over. 

Daniel J. Kuhles, M.D. was appointed Saratoga County Commissioner of Public Health Nov. 17 by the county Board of Supervisors during their monthly meeting. 

Catherine Duncan retired from her position as county Director of Public Health on July 31. The county began a job search while upgrading the position to Commissioner of Public Health with requirements that included being a physician currently registered to practice medicine in New York State and possessing two years of experience in administrative practice in a health-related organization or government agency.

The position carries a base salary of $132,446, and a term of six years. Job responsibilities include directing, managing and regulating the Department’s delivery of public health services throughout Saratoga County. 

Kuhles is a resident of Saratoga Springs and his appointment is effective Nov. 24

In other county news, the Board of Supervisors announced a public hearing regarding the proposed 2021 budget will be held 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, with a potential vote to take place one week later, on Dec. 9. The proposed 2021 spending plan, which was released Nov. 5, is $340 million. 

Due to public health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, the public is not permitted in-person access to county meetings. The meetings are broadcast via an audio signal and using a call-in number and access code. As such, audio quality – and ultimately the public’s ability to fully comprehend the board’s activities – is often poor. 

Supervisor Matt Veitch reported the county is exploring the incorporation of a $350,000 audio/video system that would improve the quality of Saratoga County public broadcasts. 

Supervisor Tara Gaston added that she will in the future advocate for the hiring of a public information officer who would coordinate communications coming from the county, as well as introduce to the county Board of Supervisors a program to empower women in government. 

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