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Health Department position may not be filled

Staff report
A high-ranking Rowan County Health Department official who is rejoining the military may not be replaced.
Jim Cowan, a veterinarian who heads the Allied Health Services division of the Health Department, will return to active duty in the Air Force later this month.
County Manager Gary Page said Tuesday the current county hiring freeze expires June 30.
Page said county commissioners will need to decide whether to continue the freeze after July 1.
If the freeze is extended, the Cowan position would likely remain vacant.
Page said he plans to meet with Health Director Leonard Wood and hear from him on whether the position needs to be retained.
Page recommended eliminating 14 positions in the upcoming budget.
Most of those positions are vacant because of the freeze, which has been in place for more than nine months.
Cowan’s annual salary as Allied Health Services director is $65,626. He had held the post for 12 years.
Cowan will be serving as public health flight commander with a medical group at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

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