Bing Burton, Denton County’s health director for the past 22 years, is retiring in June and county commissioners are looking for a replacement.
Burton joined the county as health director in 1992 and has overseen public health through outbreaks of West Nile virus, flu and other health issues.
“It has been a great 22 years and I have loved every minute of it,” Burton said Tuesday, taking a call in a golf cart after taking a vacation day. “Part of me wants to keep on working and part of me says it’s time to move on.”
Commissioners interviewed a small number of candidates Tuesday during a closed session but did not disclose how many were interviewed and whether they are finalists.
County Judge Mary Horn said commissioners have known for a couple of months that Burton was planning on retiring. The job opening was posted by Human Resources director Amy Phillips, and the county “got quite a few applications in from all over,” Horn said.
Phillips was notified which candidates commissioners wanted to interview for the position, and the interviews were conducted Tuesday. No immediate decision was made on a new hire, Horn said.
“We hope to make a decision in a week or two,” she said.
Horn said she would like to bring someone in soon to work with Burton and learn the office and how the position works here.
“I would like to give them an opportunity to be over there together at least for a week or two,” she said. “It’s a big important job and I just want to make sure they have an opportunity to meet everybody, not that things need to continue exactly the same but he or she needs an opportunity to see how it works.”
Horn said she and others will miss Burton, whom she said has done a lot of great work for the county.
Burton said he hopes the county will hire his successor as soon as it is practical.
“I’m sure anyone who is selected has obligations, so it will take awhile to work through all those issues I am sure,” he said.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.