Hopes for emergency manager: professional coordination

News editor

Sheriff Rob Craft, deputy Jim Philpott, 911 supervisor Linda Klenda, and Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee told county commissioners Tuesday about their hopes for a new emergency manager.

Steketee said fire chiefs from across the county met recently and discussed the position.

“We would hope for a professional, experienced emergency manager,” he said.

He said there needed to be more countywide training events with fire, ambulances, and law enforcement.

“I like (the sheriff), but the last time we did anything together was that meth decontamination,” Steketee said.

Planning among cities is another thing he hopes an emergency manager will coordinate.

Philpott said it was important for an emergency manager to know what resources are available — in and out of the county — and where to find them.

“That emergency manager should be a walking resource,” he said.

Craft said he supported having the emergency manager be a standalone position. However, it is important that person be an enthusiastic self-starter because of the job’s nature as a planning position, he said.

Steketee said finding the right person would require paying the going rate for an emergency management professional. Commissioner Randy Dallke said the $42,000 a year salary currently offered is in line with what other counties of similar size pay.

Steketee volunteered to offer questions to be asked in the interview process, or to sit in on interviews and ask questions himself. Commissioner Roger Fleming said the final decision would rest with the commission, but he wanted others’ opinions.

Commissioners then read emergency manager job descriptions from other counties.

 

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