Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Admin officer isn’t essential

The board of the Spokane Regional Health District has failed at its essential function: To protect the public health.

When faced with choosing between the health officer, whose duty is to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the administrative officer, with neither the training nor expertise to provide such protection, the Health District board voted to retain the latter and fire the former. The board placed the administrator above the well-being of the public. The Health District does not exist for the benefit of the administrative officer. It exists to protect the public health. Terminating Dr. Lutz in the midst of the pandemic is an unmitigated failure of the board’s fiduciary duty to everyone within the boundaries of the Spokane Regional Health District.

The responsibilities and authorities of the health officer are set by state law, not the Health District board or the administrative officer. Revised Code of Washington, Section 70.05.070. State law does not require the Health District to have an administrative officer. It does require, however, a health officer. Dr. Lutz’s responsibility is to control and prevent the spread of the corona virus, not placate political appointees to the Health District board. He is charged with taking such measures as he deems necessary to promote public health. No evidence has been presented that Dr. Lutz acted other than to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The law recognizes a duly qualified public health officer is an essential position; an administrative officer is not.

Roger Chase

Spokane


 

Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Email: editor@spokesman.com
Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430