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Plains resident defends former Sanders County health officer

| September 29, 2021 12:00 AM

Bob Costa, renowned journalist and author said, “Actions matter in politics and policy.”

A week ago, the Sanders County Commissioners requested the resignation of Nick Lawyer, a member of the County Public Health Board and the County’s Public Health Officer, effectively firing him.

This action by the commissioners was on wrong many levels. County residents were not informed of any meetings concerning this action, effectively excluding opposing comment; none of the other appointed Health Board members were informed of nor consulted about his removal; no legitimate reasons have been given for it.

Nick’s actions have shown him to be professional and committed. He keeps abreast of all aspects of patient care. He is guided by science, not Google or social media.

He has a First Amendment right and a professional obligation to make public statements encouraging healthy, science-backed choices.

With this action, our commissioners have weakened the county’s response to the pandemic. One in eleven of our residents has been infected with COVID. That fact alone should appall our elected officials, ensuring they do everything they can to have the best people in critical positions.

We who were excluded because proper public notice of the proceedings was withheld are outraged at the egregious way this was handled.

We expect the Commissioners to be willing to hear input from all residents after proper notice has been publicly published.

Cheri Seli

Plains, Montana