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Health dept. should solve its own problems

The Harrison-Clarksburg Board of Health is in the market for consultants to help it operate more efficiently.

Doak, Cuppett & Poling of Clarksburg and R. David Blackman & Associates of Greensboro, N.C., have offered proposals, and board members say they'd like to see proposals from other firms.

We think all of this is a bad idea.

Such a study is sure to be expensive. And, it's money that doesn't need to be spent.

"We would like them," board President Mary Ann Iquinto says, "to come in and look at the internal functioning of the health department -- if there is any way we could maximize services and if there is anything we could do to enhance the relationship between the board and the health department."

Since the board is looking for input, here's our two cents worth (actually, we won't even charge a cent).

It shouldn't take a consulting firm to tell health board members or health department workers how to do their jobs.

The health board has been under fire for months for its decision to move into a building downtown that some people have said is a poor choice for workers and clients alike.

Often, when government agencies or departments come under fire, the easy way out is to ask a consulting firm to make the fix.

It's easy because it's just another way of passing the buck.

President Harry S. Truman had a saying about that kind of thinking: "The buck stops here."

Truman wasn't always popular for the decisions he made. But he was a very effective leader because he was willing to accept responsibility.

If board members, and health department employees, all can start adopting that same policy, the buck will indeed stop here -- instead of health board money landing outside our borders in a consultant's wallet.

Today's editorial is a reflection of the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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