The city Board of Health interviewed an experienced Michigan woman today in closed session, and later directed city staff to negotiate terms of employment in anticipation of appointing her to the position, pending City Council approval.
The candidate is Dottie-Kay Bowersox, who now is project director of the Michigan Public Health Institute in Okemos, MI. A release from the mayor's office says she has 23-years' experience, as well as a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University.
She as been in Okemos since May 2008. Previously, her experience includes:
- Health Officer, Calhoun County Public Health Department, Battle Creek, MI; October 2005 – May 2008
- Deputy Health Officer/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Jackson County Health Department, Jackson, MI; May 2000 – October 2005
- Acting Health Officer, Calhoun County Public Health Department, Battle Creek, MI; September 2002 – February 2003 and May 1999 – May 2000
- Administrative Services Supervisor/Public Health Analyst, Calhoun County Public Health Department, Battle Creek, MI; April 1996 – May 1999
- Executive Director, Aware, Inc, Jackson, MI; August 1989 – March 1996
- Executive Director, Oaklawn Life Improvement Center, Marshall, MI; October 1986 – August 1989
The hiring, if it takes place, would finally end a situation that began last December, when former city administrator Ben Hughes gave public health administrator Janelle Grammer a negative review and she responded with a harrassment lawsuit, later dismissed by the state, and a very public trial before the City Council in June -- after which she was fired. Marcia Fernholz, who filled in as interim public health administrator, was prohibited from applying for the job because she lacks the required master's degree.
It's unclear how many of the health department's other vacancies still exist. At one point, in addition to a director, the city also was looking for a sanitarian, nurse and dietitian.