Residents asked to weigh in on search for new health department head

San Francisco residents have a chance to weigh in Tuesday on what they want to see in the next leader the Department of Public Health

Whoever is selected will oversee the $2.3 billion department at a time when mental health services, homelessness and housing are top issues among residents and elected officials. The City is also considering becoming the first in the United States to launch a safe injection site.

The Health Commission will meet Tuesday to “solicit input from the community regarding qualities and qualifications of the Director of Health as part of development of the job description.”

As some point following the meeting, the Department of Human Resources will release the ad for the position and begin recruiting.

It is expected that in November the Health Commission will review candidates who applied in a closed session and decide who to invite in for interviews at another closed session meeting in December.

Ultimately, the Health Commission will pick three candidates and let Mayor London Breed decide who of the three to hire for the post. ”The mayor will determine if any of the candidates are acceptable,” according to the Health Commission’s memo. “She has sole authority to hire this position.”

Barbara Garcia abruptly resigned as head of the Public Health Department last month. She was a target of a conflict-of-inflict investigation at the time for allegedly failing to disclose her spouse’s income at a firm that receives funding from the department.

Garcia was appointed to the post by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2010.

The department is currently being run by acting director Greg Wagner.

The Health Commission will meet at 3 p.m. at 101 Grove St., Room 300.

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