Dear Editor and People of Knox County,
On April 2, we have the task and privilege to go to the polls and decide on a number of offices and issues, not the least of which will be the issue of increasing the tax levy for the Knox County Health Department. The current levy is the same that it was in 1976. I don’t know about everyone else, but I would have a hard time supporting my family today on the income I had in 1976.
We are fortunate to have a very efficient Health Department, that has written and received numerous grants over the years to help provide services to the residents at Knox County, but many of those sources have dried up in recent years. Health Departments/Home Health Agencies have always struggled with getting enough funds to provide care, and the present day is no exception. I had the privilege of serving on the health board for 12 years, and I am well aware of the challenge at getting the most care and services for the dollars available.
I have a very close relative who is a nurse, with a Masters in Public Health, and she works at the State Department of Health in Jefferson City. In her job, she has had direct contact and oversight with every County Health Department in the state, and her assessment is that Knox County has one of the best, if not the best, Health Department in the state. I am very proud of our Health Department staff, administration, and board for the outstanding service they provide to our county.
If the people of Knox County choose not to increase the levy, it won’t mean that we will lose our Health Department, but it will mean cutting back on services, to those that are mandated by the Federal Government. Much of what the Health Department does is not seen, because if they do these jobs we,, we don’t have any major public health issues. It’s not because there are no issues, but because they are caught early and dealt with, and don’t become problems.
I urge you to vote “YES”, on Tuesday the second of April on the question at the question of increasing the tax levy for the Knox County Health Department.
R.D. Collinge, DDS