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Emergency manager ousted: Sheriff's office escorts him out after abrupt firing

Sheriff’s office escorts him out after abrupt firing

Staff writer

Emergency manager Randy Frank was unceremoniously fired Monday.

After an executive session for personnel matters, county commissioners came back into open session and unanimously voted to terminate Frank’s contract as emergency management director, effective immediately.

“The county sheriff’s office will escort you to your office now to retrieve county items, to be returned today,” chairman David Mueller told Frank.

Mueller said that Frank could gather any personal items and take them with him when he left the office.

Frank did not leave the meeting.

“This was effective immediately,” county counselor Brad Jantz told him.

Frank asked for a roll call vote. The unanimous vote remained the same.

Although no reason was given during the commission meeting, commissioner Jonah Gehring said afterward: “What was expected year after year just wasn’t coming.”

Undersheriff Larry Starkey watched Frank collect his possessions. Keys, passwords, data, and other county-owned property had to remain with Starkey.

Starkey then drove Frank home.

Commissioners appointed Marcy Hostetler, emergency management department administrative assistant, as interim director.

Ambulance complaints

In other business Monday, emergency medical services director Travis Parmley discussed transferring patients from one hospital to another.

Parmley said complaints about the service have been posted on social media, and that a hospital employee has made negative remarks to patients and families about EMS transfers.

Parmley said he resolved that with a call to the hospital’s chief executive officer.

“We’ve had the same transfer policy since 2019,” Parmley said.

Parmley said he was willing to transfer patients from local hospitals to larger hospitals but wanted to keep adequate staff in the county to handle emergencies here.

“We try to work with the hospital when it really needs to happen,” he said.

Parmley said he encouraged county hospitals to turn to the state’s Mission Control system to help locate a hospital that would accept a patient transfer and a means of transportation.

Parmley said there was no truth to a recent a complaint on social media about how long it took to get an ambulance. He also said the post was “word of mouth,” and he had invited the poster to come to his office and talk to him.

“I appreciate you giving us more information,” Mueller said.

Lake hall refresh

On another matter, the county lake hall is soon to get an update with new light fixtures and paint.

County commissioners Monday accepted bids to replace old fluorescent light fixtures — which are expensive to replace when bulbs have gone out — with LED bulbs that lake employees can replace themselves.

Commissioners accepted a $2,083.23 bid from Elcon Services, owned by Gehring, who recused himself from voting on the proposal.

A $26,500 bid commissioners accepted from Koehn Painting in Newton was higher than a second bid rejected by commissioners. The rejected bid was to put a new coat of paint over the existing paint.

Lake director Isaac Hett said the building apparently had not been painted since it was built. Existing paint is powdering off, and bare metal can be seen where it has been scratched. Removing the old paint and applying new is a longer-lasting fix that simply painting it.

“I think it will last a lot longer than just repainting it,” Hett said.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Voted to purchase a 2022 Ford Explorer for the health department for $37,103.
  • Accepted a $2,296,716.07 bid from Cornejo & Sons to put overlay on Indigo Rd.

Last modified May 19, 2022

 

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