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Public Hearing Set for October On Consolidation of Departments in Jackson

The topic of merging the health and social services departments within Jackson County is once more under deliberation by the Board of Commissioners.

This matter was revisited during the board’s regular meeting on August 15th, marking the third time it has been discussed this year. Previous conversations had taken place in January and February.

County Manager Don Adams once again presented the four consolidation options to the board. These options outline potential configurations for a unified department, and a fourth option proposes maintaining the current separate structure.

The health department has been responsible for conducting drug screenings on behalf of DSS for several years. These screenings encompass pre-employment assessments and situations involving families where substance misuse contributes to instances of child abuse and neglect.

This isn’t the first instance of a board contemplating consolidation. Back in January 2018, a previous board had initiated departmental consolidation, only to reverse the decision due to implementation confusion. Some perceived a political dimension to the process, leaving employees caught in the middle. These details were documented in the meeting minutes of August 20, 2018.

During the recent meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of a public hearing. The scheduled date for this hearing is October 3rd, 2023, at 5:45 p.m.

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