The city of Kent may not have a new health commissioner in place in time for the current commissioner's retirement at the end of the month.
Kent Health Commissioner John Ferlito's last day is July 31, but the Kent Health Board may not have his replacement lined up in time for Monday, Aug 1.
Ferlito said he's reviewing departmental procedures with his staff in anticipation of finding a new commissioner. If a timely replacement isn't found, the city's deputy health commissioner will take over in the interim.
"(We're) putting together a checklist for the new person, whoever comes in," Ferlito said. "We’re working hard to make it as easy as we can."
John Gwinn, former president of the health board, is staying on in an advisory position to the board as they try to finish their search and find a new health commissioner.
Gwinn said they don't know when they'll find Ferlito's replacement.
"Things are progressing, and between complications with candidates being out of the country ... and then board members have trouble getting a time they could all get together, that’s contributed to the delays," Gwinn said.
The board has held face-to-face interviews with four candidates, and they may decide to interview another candidate after the board members meet this week.
"We may decide at that time to interview one additional candidate," Gwinn said. "Depending on how things went, it could be as early as (today), but I’m not optimistic of that. The board really wants to make sure we have the right person for the position here."
Gwinn said the board's goal still is to hire a full-time health commissioner to replace Ferlito, but they continue talks with and the Portage County Health Department about .
Gwinn said all the remaining candidates have been briefed on those possibilities.
"John Ferlito is a tough man to find a replacement for," Gwinn said. "He has been health commissioner for 38 years, and as each new requirement and each new mandate comes down the road, he would take that on and see that it’s done. So the breadth of responsibilities that he’s done … and finding someone who has the scope of knowledge and breadth of background is going to be very difficult."