Community, Laws, Ordinances & Regulations

Fair Representation on the County Board of Health?

Last week, we asked if the County Board of Health was a fair representation of the county. We’ve looked at how people are distributed in the county before, in “Searching Lincoln County Data” and “If LCHS District were a County” and have mostly compared high school districts (which is a handy way of splitting the county into three).

Splitting the Board of Health into representation by high school district:

High School District% of County Population% of Vote on Health Board
Libby50 %57.1 %
Eureka (LCHS)32 %28.6 %
Troy18 %14.3 %

Considering things in terms of the high school districts makes for a much fairer picture than looking at them in terms of Libby, Eureka and Troy- but three members of the board do represent Libby, Eureka and Troy, specifically. There are only three members (plus one county commissioner) available to represent the rest of the county.

Comparing the representation of Eureka, Libby and Troy to that of the rest of the county leaves a rather different picture:

Area% of PopulationBoard Representation
Eureka + Libby + Troy23.1 %Minimum of 3/7, or 42.9 %
The Rest of the County76.9 %Maximum of 4/7, or 57.1 %

Note that those are minimum and maximum values. The board is structured so that Eureka, Libby and Troy each get to appoint a representative, with the remaining 4 appointed by the County Commissioners. It is impossible, under the current structure, for Eureka, Libby and Troy to have less than 42.9% combined representation on the board.

Of course, as was evident in last week’s article, this is a fairly good deal for Troy and Eureka; Troy, with only 4.7% of the county population is guaranteed 14.3% of the vote on the board. Eureka, with 5.2% of the county population gets the same. Libby, at 13.2% is only slightly under represented. (Of course, these are minimums. Nothing says the county commissioners can’t appoint four Libby residents to the board…)

The Lincoln County Board of Health next meets on the 13th of January. The agenda, when available, should be posted on the county website along with the zoom link.

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