A local board of health shall appoint a full-time or part-time local health officer with approval by the commissioner. The local health officer shall be a physician currently licensed in this state and knowledgeable in the science of public health. A local health officer serves at the will and pleasure of the local board for a term of one year and is eligible for reappointment at compensation determined by the local board of health.
A local health officer may be removed from office by the commissioner if the local health officer fails or refuses to carry out the lawful orders or rules of the secretary in the event the commissioner determines a public health emergency exists or if the local health officer fails or refuses to enforce public health laws and rules necessary to prevent and control the spread of communicable or reportable diseases dangerous to the public health. Upon removal, a successor local health officer shall immediately be appointed by the board pursuant to the provisions of this article.