On the first meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Health since the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors removed Dr. Thomas Gary from the BOH, the board named Dr. Ed Burkhalter as chairman.
The action was taken on Tuesday as three members, Burkhalter, Elizabeth White and Butch Sleezer met in the boardroom of the courthouse. David Appleby was absent.
A fifth member of the Board of Health will need to be appointed by supervisors at a later date.
A primary reason given last week by supervisors for removing Gary was the sale by Gary of the county's federal identification number for Medicare services. According to an investigator for the Medicare regional office in Kansas City, Mo., an appointed county official, such as Gary, does not have the authority to sell the number.
At Tuesday's BOH meeting, Sleezer asked Ron Wetherell, the supervisor chairman who was present in the audience, why the county needed a Medicare number since the county will no longer be directly providing those services.
"I thought you wanted out of the business," Sleezer said.
Wetherell responded that the county might need the number again.
"Why should we give it to somebody when it could have value some day?" Wetherell said. He added that he was bothered by the sale of something that has value for a dollar.