With the firing last week of the county’s lead dispatcher, one county commissioner thinks combining her position with an emergency manager position could be a solution to a dilemma created by the firing in May of emergency manager Randy Frank.
Another commissioner and the sheriff think not.
Lead dispatcher Linda Klenda was relieved of duties because of differences in management styles between her and Sheriff Jeff Soyez.
For now, second-in-command dispatcher Chelsea Weber is stepping up to supervisory duties, Soyez said.
Since May, commissioners have been having problems replacing Frank, who was terminated because of dissatisfaction over his performance.
No qualified candidate for emergency manager wants the position at the pay level the county offers.
Years ago, the county’s head dispatcher also served as emergency manager.
Soyez doesn’t think combining the positions would work. Neither does commissioner Dave Crofoot.
Commissioner David Mueller said combining the positions might work.
Crofoot thinks a dispatch supervisor should remain in the dispatch center during an emergency.
“We need somebody who can respond to the scene,” Crofoot said of an emergency manager.
He said commissioners had thought about combining emergency manager and another position filled by an interim appointee, the director of emergency medical services.
Former EMS director Travis Parmley, who continues to fill in as a county paramedic, also works for a chemical disaster company out of state, Crofoot said.
“He has all the qualifications to do both jobs,” Crofoot said.
Parmley resigned in July after weeks of criticism from chief executives of St. Luke Hospital and Hillsboro Community Hospital over patient transfer policies.
Crofoot and commission chairman David Mueller said they support Soyez’s termination of Klenda.
“He seems to be doing an outstanding job, and I’m sure he expects the same of his people,” Mueller said.
Mueller said combining lead dispatcher and emergency manager roles had not been discussed but might be worth considering.