Stark County Board of Health awards health commissioner Kirk Norris with five-year contract.

 After two years on the job, Stark County Health Commissioner Kirk Norris has been awarded a new five-year contract.

Norris will be paid $98,579 next year, followed by annual salary increases of 3 percent for the duration of the pact. During 2018 — the final year — Norris will earn $110,951.

"I think this is a good contract for the people of Stark County," said Board of Health President Phillip Francis.

The board approved the deal in a unanimous vote Wednesday morning. A Health Department employee since 1995, Norris took over early last year for the retiring William Franks. Norris' initial commissioner contract paid him $87,000 in 2012 and $89,610 this year.

As health commissioner, he oversees an agency of about 75 employees with an annual budget of $6 million. It serves those who live outside the Alliance, Canton and Massillon health department districts.

The county health department's duties include collection of birth and death records, licensure and inspection of restaurants, solid and infectious waste facilities, septic installations, plumbing, water sources, mobile home parks, swimming pools, and schools. Its nursing division investigates communicable diseases and provides an array of clinics for immunizations, well child, women's health, prenatal, dental and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Also Wednesday, the board approved a five-year contract with Dr. Maureen Ahmann to serve as medical director. She'll be paid $74 per hour for five hours per week, with annual 3 percent increases.

Ahmann has served in that role for the past four years. This is the first time in 20 years the wage was increased from $60 per hour. Norris told the board the average hourly wage for a medical director is $85

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