HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — During a Houston County Administrative meeting, two Houston County Commissioners, Ricky Herring, and James Ivey, decided not to make a request to appoint a nominee for their districts to the Houston County Healthcare Authority Board — the governing body of Southeast Health.

By law, the healthcare authority board presents the commissioners with three nominees and they will appoint one to represent their district, but Herring doesn’t believe he had a fair representation in his district from current Chairman Chester Sowell as he says they are supposed to discuss possible names for an appointment with the nominating committee but that didn’t happen.

“The commissioner makes the appointment so of course that’s a reflection on us and as a commissioner that’s a reflection of decisions made in the hospital that doesn’t mean we want to be involved but we want to know the person will make good decisions,” Herring said.

Herring says Sowell whose six-year term is expiring, put himself on the nominating committee to vote on the final nominees when he is supposed to serve as an ex-officio officer meaning he does not get a vote.

He says he also didn’t bother to run the final names by him which is also in the board’s by-laws but what bothered him most — Dr. Kelsey Steensland who he nominated for her to be on the board in the chairman’s spot. She’s an experienced doctor with a detailed resume and a mother of children did not get any consideration.

Herring says Sowell says she doesn’t have enough volunteer experience and does not have the time to serve yet her resume says otherwise.

“He’s locked in I dont know if he has a vendetta against me and how I fought for Hicks, I dont know if it’s because she’s a female,” says Herring.

Ivey was in a similar situation — he was told by a representative who was appointed to him that the list was already determined before meeting with him.

He wanted to appoint Archie Solomon, a family business owner, but he was not allowed to add a name to the list like Commissioner Curtis Harvey did which he believes was unfair.

“This appointment has my name on it, without me knowing a person or knowing of them it’s hard for me to select that person this is one of the biggest appointments I have,” Ivey said.

Ivey has also asked that Secretary Bob Theney turn in his resignation as he says he is not upholding his part in representing the district.

Both men say they are looking forward to communicating with the board in order to make it right.


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