Department had reason to close

To the editor:

A big-mouthed and little-brained commissioner — am speaking of Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Gentile — has stated that the Jefferson County Health Department has no heart or feelings for the people of our county. The reason he stated this was because the health department was closed the week of Nov. 19. The reason it was closed was because there was so much danger for everyone, including walk-ins.

The workers and the superintendent who are currently working in the building not only suggested that the health department close that week, but to be safe, they should have closed for the remainder of the month. The reason being, there are nothing but danger and hazardous conditions in the building. Particles are falling from the ceiling onto the health department employees and their work spaces. There is nothing on the floor except old cardboard, and even the most agile people are falling. The health department held its monthly meeting earlier in November, and it was nearly impossible to walk, and one of the board members fell.

I agree with the superintendent who told health department employees they should close for the rest of the month to ensure the safety of everyone.

But our great commissioner, who could not tolerate even one day working in those conditions that the health department employees are, has chosen to criticize them for closing for three days for their own safety.

Once again, our commissioner shot his mouth off without knowing the full facts, nor caring to find out the facts. I feel the people who need the services of the health department and the employees working in these hazardous conditions have more of a right to complain. Commissioner Gentile, I invite you to come to the health department and spend a full eight-hour day with the health department employees.

I have never run for public office in the past and swore I never would, but now I am going to run against Mr. Gentile. I do not know if I will win or not, but I will make him spend the money his father left him.

Dr. Frank Petrola


(Editor’s note: Petrola is president of the board of directors of the Jefferson County Health Department.)