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County sticks with current system

December 2, 2012
Morning Journal News

LISBON - Columbiana County commissioners have abandoned plans made in July to restructure the Emergency Management Agency and will return to the current system of having a director and deputy director.

The news came to light after commissioners voted 3-0 this week to hire Lisa Elliott of Lisbon to serve as the EMA's new administrative assistant, a position formally held by interim EMA Director Edie Dillard.

When EMA Director Darren Dodson submitted his resignation in July, commissioners announced they were going to replace the director/deputy director structure with two deputy director positions. They promptly named Samantha Works to one of the positions, but she later quit to return to her old job.

Meanwhile, commissioners promoted Dillard to interim EMA director while they decided who to name to the positions permanently. The deputy EMA position is currently vacant.

After Elliott was hired to serve as administrative assistant, Commissioner Mike Halleck confirmed this meant they were returning to the original structure of having a director, deputy director and administrative assistant to perform clerical tasks, answer phones and other functions.

A candidate for commissioner in the recent election criticized the board for failing to name a permanent replacement to the EMA director position, especially after rejecting the finalists recommended for the job by the interview committee created by commissioners.

Halleck said the entire situation will likely be addressed in January. He has indicated before he might recommend Dillard for the job on a permanent basis.

As for Elliott, Halleck said she came well recommended for the job. She is the wife of courthouse maintenance man Jeff Elliott and will be paid $11.50 an hour.



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