Debate on use of tobacco settlement funds continues at county level

NORWICH – Chenango County lawmakers were challenged recently to use more of the county’s distribution of the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreement funds as they were originally intended – for prevention and cessation programs.

Public Health Director Marcas Flindt requested an increase in the salary that would be offered to a health educator who would manage tobacco use prevention programs in 2010. The position has been vacant for two years.

The salary for the position was set at $52,000 almost a decade ago, but Flindt said bargaining unit salary rasies have increased the amount since then to $56,251.

“We’ve never increased it,” he said.

The amount in the department’s personnel line was shifted earlier this year to cover the cost of purchasing defibrillators for the County Office Building.

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