1011 W Main Buffalo MO 65622 417-345-2332

Board Do’s and Don’ts


  • Be willing to learn from other board members.
  • Always remember that the job of the board is to provide oversight and not become involved in the mechanics of operating the local public health agency.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Read board minutes.
  • Study policy books.
  • Always read and prepare for meetings ahead of time.
  • Recognize that your responsibility is not to run the local public health agency, but to see that it is well run.
  • Work through the properly-appointed director according to board and organizational policy.
  • Refer, as far as possible, all complaints and requests to the director for appropriate action.
  • Familiarize yourself in a broad and non-technical manner with the problems of the local public health agency.
  • Try to interpret to the staff, through the director and directly when appropriate, the attitudes, wishes and needs of the citizens of the county; and try to interpret to the citizens the needs, problems and progress of the local public health agency.
  • Voice opinions frankly in board meetings and vote for what seems best for the citizens of the county.
  • Recognize fully that the director is entirely responsible for carrying out policy in accordance with state/county law, rules and regulations.
  • Help to frame policies and plans, only after considering the recommendations of the director, together with his/her reasons for making such recommendations.
  • Require oral and written reports for the purpose of keeping the board properly informed on local public health agency matters.
  • Give all local public health agency staff authority in keeping with their responsibilities.
  • Vote only for the best-trained technical and professional employees who have been properly recommended by the director.
  • Maintain harmonious relations with other board members when harmonious relations are consistent with your obligations to the local public health agency.
  • Visit the local public health agency to gain clearer understanding of problems, but not to interfere in the day-to-day administration.
  • Establish criteria for evaluating the efficiency of the director.
  • Present personal criticism of local public health agency employees only to the administrator.
  • Support and protect local public health agency staff in the performance of their duties.
  • Give friendly counsel and advice to the director.


  • Interfere with the day-by-day routine of the local public health agency administration and supervision.
  • Refuse to support worthwhile local public health agency programs because of personal reasons.
  • Show favoritism to relatives and/or friends.
  • Make promises and commitments before the questions are fully discussed in the board meetings.
  • Join a clique to control board action.
  • Don’t have an axe to grind.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand.
  • Use board membership for political or business advancement for yourself or your families.
  • Indulge in petty criticism of the administration of the local public health agency.
  • Divulge confidential information.
  • Assume authority in local public health agency matters when the board is not in session.
  • Accept gifts from suppliers or contractors, or make personal purchases through the local public health agency to gain advantage of state or county contracts.


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