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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Health Department issues in Pender County continue to heat up after a “he said she said” battle on Facebook.

Topsail Online printed an article today claiming County Commissioner Chester Ward said he was misrepresented on a story we ran yesterday. But that’s not what he told us.

Ward told WWAY Wednesday that Commission Chair George Brown might need to take a step back and re-evaluate his position on the Health Board. That’s not the story reported by the Topsail Online blog on Facebook.

Ken Clarke started the blog after he lost his job when the Pender Post bought the Topsail Voice. According to Clarke, Ward said his comments in our interview were, “not a true representation of what he said, noting that the question he was asked was never aired and his entire answer was cut off.”

In fact, despite what Clarke reports, the full question and answer shows ward was clear about Brown leaving the health board.

Wednesday WWAY’s Cliff Pyron asked Ward: “You, David Williams, (Jimmy) Tate all kind of stepped up and talked to Mr. Brown (at Monday’s commission meeting). Do you think maybe he’s biased when it comes to the Health Board? Does he need to take a step back and reevaluate his role with the Health Board?”

Ward answered, “Maybe he needs to reevaluate his role there. Maybe there’s still some emotional tension still there, and if so we may be asking him if he’s willing to remove from that Board of Health as a member there. Maybe we can appoint somebody there who would like to be a part of that Board of Health.”

Clarke, who would not go on camera, says he stands by his story. Ward says it’s wrong.

“I don’t know what the intention of him to say… calling anybody a liar. I don’t call anybody a liar. I don’t know what the outcome of trying to say something about our interview. I don’t know,” Ward said.

Despite the recent controversy the Pender County Health Department says it is trying to stay as transparent as possible.

In a comment on his Facebook posting, Clarke maintained the accuracy of his story saying, in part, “I have not and do not question the validity of WWAY’s interview with Commissioner Chester Ward.

“The content concerning WWAY in this article came about from an extensive conversation with Ward, and convey his opinion, not mine.”

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4 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Pender Health Dept. issues lead to war of words"

pender county citizen
2015 years 10 months ago

It seems that maybe instead of commissioner ward,williams,and Tate trying to single out Mr brown maybe they should all step back and look at the way they have been making some recent decisions. Instead of voting off of each others decisions and what some certain people of the public might say. Pender county really needs to start looking at its decision makers a lot more and the decision makers should start listening to the citizens more. This is not the first time something of this nature has happend I’m sure. The people of pender county want the cold hard truth not just what sounds good.

Jack Griffith
2015 years 10 months ago

Thank you for your kind words. I hope that Brown, Moser, and Steele put the programs back in place that helped so many needy people.

2015 years 10 months ago

Mr. Brown and Mr. Clarke both have trouble with the truth. It is clear to me that Clarke has carried so much water for Brown for so many years he simply does it out of habit. When Ms. Moser complained about the poor quality of the sanitarians work and the fact that the previous administration (mine) ordered staff to cut corners to reach compliance goals, she was clearly out of bounds with the facts (Environmental Health Specialists are licensed by the state to perform various jobs in environmental health, e.g. water, soils, food and lodging, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.). No Environmental Health Specialist is going to place his career and license in jeopardy by falsifying data. Regional Soil Scientists in Food & Lodging and in Soils visit the health department regularly, audit work done by the sanitarians, and help the local health department with difficult projects. In my 14 years as health director no regional state scientists ever complained to me about sloppy or poor work done by the sanitarians.

In fact, if Ms. Moser knows of “corners” that were cut she needs to inform the Pender County public as soon as possible since health issues are a concern: The editorial in the Post & Voice suggested that cutting corners was a public health concern and should be brought to light and corrected. The sanitarians I worked with were all Bachelor of Science graduates, and very professional in their attitude and practice.

Ms. Moser brought with her from Madison County two relatively highly paid Environmental Health Supervisors. It took the supervisors several months to become authorized by the state to work in Pender County (Much longer than would usually be expected). I believe that since Ms. Moser has been health director she has been spending her time and the taxpayer’s money on purchasing new hand washing equipment for the building; painting and renovating the interior of the health department; and perhaps not so much time on the various programs. For example, I’m sure she was forced to terminate the school dental program to save almost two months of contract dollars before the end of the fiscal year. Firing two mobile clinic employees also saved a few dollars. I believe it is clear that Brown’s suggestion that the health department did not need two dentists has blown-up in his face. Obviously, one dentist can’t operate two separate clinics. Since the mobile school dentist was forced to do so for almost a year and a half, the dental program has obviously lost revenue. If this is not so, Mr. Brown should make public the health department budget and the budget for the individual health department programs. I don’t believe he will do so. I believe there are other programs losing money in the health department, more about those programs another day.

It would be worthwhile for all concerned, if Ms. Moser would tell the public what the compliance percentage in Food & Lodging is since she took over as permanent director and brought her sanitarians to Pender County. I can provide the following information from the state, if she can’t manage to put her hands on it.

State data for the past 10 years clearly show excellent health department compliance with state contracts. See below:
2010-2011 97%
2009-2010 100%
2008-2009 100%
2007-2008 100%
2006 -2007 100%
2005 -2006 100%
2004-2005 100%
2003-2004 75%
2002-2003 99%
2001-2002 95%

2015 years 10 months ago

Bravo Jack Griffith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have always felt you to be an intelligent and fair man. It is strange to me that the environmental department is now suffering from lack of knowledge… hence the adding off Mosier’s over paid cronnies.

They are behind because they are trying to punish the very qualified men and women who have worked very hard to keep the Local Health Department running. These folks have been here for a long time and are very qualified to work in this field. But Mosier requires them to have their work checked by her yes boys before a permit can be issues. As a former employee I would like to say that I too remember a time when Environmental Health was way behind in issueing permits. The solutiion is not to slow down the process and treat Harry, Clay, and Pam as though they just poked their head in the door for the first time.

They should and I’m sure do feel insulted by the way Mosier is allowed to treat them. The county should be ashamed to employ a Health Director that is that type of person.

As for the two frozen positions I am sure her hurry must be that two more cronnies need jobs and want to move to Pender County. Look out those of you at PCHD that feel that you are safe, a friend of her’s may need your job next.

Now the dental clinic was your baby Dr. Griffith. Does it surprise anyone that this would be one of the first things that Mosier, Shirley Steele, and George Brown would destroy. They do not care about the employees, you, or the citizens of Pender County. The dental clinic was destroyed solely because you where the one who helped create it, and there was no selfishness involved there. You did the things you did to enhance the department and to bring service to the citizens.

Salute, Salute, Salute to you Jack Griffith, I hope Pender County knows what they allowed George Brown and Shirley Steele to destroy.

Wow glad I am not working under the current administration!


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