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Commissioners will fill EMA deputy position

April 12, 2012
Salem News

LISBON - Columbiana County Commissioners on Wednesday agreed to let the Emergency Management Agency advertise for a replacement for Deputy Director Tim Long, who submitted his resignation to commissioners last week.

In his letter, Long said he has been very satisfied with his job, but has decided to move on to a different career. He requested his accumulated vacation to be paid and stated his final day will be April 20.

"I have enjoyed working with you and appreciate the opportunities I have been given here," Long said in his letter.

He did not mention any of the recent issues with the EMA director, Darren Dodson. Those issues were among what was found in Long's personnel files during the Morning Journal's Sunshine Week audit in March.

The files included a memo in which commissioners reportedly told them they would intervene and "do what is necessary" if the two were unable to communicate and work together.

Dodson said Wednesday Long has left to take another position and "we wish him the best."

Long was hired as deputy director of the EMA in 2005, only to resign six months later to take a job at the Elkton federal prison. He returned as deputy director in May 2006, four months later.

Replacing Long will need to be done quickly and with someone with experience, according to Dodson and County Commissioner John Payne.

In June the department will need to be ready for a Beaver Valley nuclear drill. Payne said the department is shorthanded without the deputy director.

Commissioners unanimously approved advertising for the position, although Chairman Mike Halleck said he challenged the notion the EMA is short-staffed.

Commissioner Jim Hoppel said he believes the commissioners should be directly involved in who is hired for the position, while Payne said he believes the current EMA director best knows who is qualified to fill it.

"You have to find the person who fits the job," Payne said, adding there is a sense of urgency with the upcoming drill.

Dodson said Wednesday he does not have anyone in mind. The plan is to advertise outside the department and see who applies.

The advertisement requests the person be familiar with the Incident Command System and be able to successfully complete the FEMA Professional Development Series of study within six months of employment. The person will also be expected to work weekends and off-hours when EMA services are needed.

At one point, commissioners had criticized the EMA's lack of action during a snowstorm in February 2010 which dumped 22 inches of snow on the county.

Applications are being accepted through April 27.



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