EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 29, 2013

Lawyer: Health board can't order council


On Friday, Wrobel said the City Council never responded to their cease and desist order or forwarded Reich’s memo to health board members. “It’s really unfortunate,” said Wrobel. “We should be on the same page. ... The Board of Health will not be used as a political football.”

City Council Chairman Sean Fountain fired back, stating that the health board has “no jurisdiction over the City Council.”

”That was the end of it, as far as I’m concerned,” said Fountain.

At a meeting earlier this month, health board members said they will consider filing a court injunction in an effort to reverse the budget cuts. But several board members said they’d rather have a sit-down meeting with councilors first to get answers.

Prospects for that meeting are looking bleak, however.

”I haven’t heard anything from them,” said Fountain. “The City Council isn’t answerable to an appointed Board of Health member. I have no intention to meet with them, not unless there’s health issues to address in the city.”

Fountain also questioned the merits of solving the matter through the courts.

”I don’t know what legal action an appointed board can take against the City Council,” said Fountain. “That, to me, doesn’t make any sense. There was nothing against the law done by the council.”




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