Supervisors discuss emergency coordinator
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved the first paycheck for fiscal year 2014 for a county employee, subject to bi-monthly review.
“We vote on salaries for the archives record,” said Supervisor Dick Reed, who proposed the bi-monthly review. “We are not approving or disapproving the rate.”
The meeting agenda item was to consider an FY14 employee salary.
The salary is for county emergency management coordinator Jerry Calnon, who is employed by the Emergency Management Commission, not the county.
The commission already approved an 0.8 percent increase in annual salary from $42,017 to $43,275 for FY14.
“The board of supervisors does not have jurisdiction over the rate of pay or an increase,” said supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt. “It’s the commission’s decision.
“I’m talking with Gregg Morton [Jefferson County Sheriff], and we’ll talk with Jerry,” said Dimmitt.
Reed said he’s received phone calls from constituents about the emergency management coordinator.
“We need a coordinator we can get a hold of,” he said. “If something is not getting done, I want to find out what’s going on.”
Dimmitt reiterated he and Morton are trying to set up a one-on-one meeting with Calnon.
“He has health issues, he hasn’t been available,” said Dimmitt. “We need to have a conversation with Jerry to see if he feels capable to handle the job.”
Reed asked Dimmitt, who represents the supervisors on the Emergency Management Commission, to set up a commission meeting.
“If he [Calnon] can’t fulfill the position, there needs to be someone to substitute,” said Reed.
Dimmitt said Morton has been substituting for Calnon.
Jefferson County Public Health Administrator Chris Estle said she did not know Morton has been fulfilling the emergency management coordinator duties.
“I need to know who is doing this,” said Estle. “It’s been a source of frustration for quite some time.
“I’m sorry he has a medical condition. But the county has to move forward and be prepared,” said Estle. “If we have one weak link …
“Our coordinator has all kinds of FEMA regulations and he’s good at it, but if he’s not been functioning …. The director of emergency management is my link in the chain of command.”
Reed said he’d contact Morton and ask to be put on a meeting agenda.
“I want to discuss the director’s ability to perform the duties,” said Reed.
Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan said that type of discussion about an employee would probably be held in a closed session. Supervisors Reed and Becky Schmitz, not members of the commission, would be excluded from a closed session.
“If talking about an employee and an evaluation of an employee, the commission has to keep that confidential,” said McAvan.
Schmitz said the supervisors could ask to see an annual report for a review.
“I’m not disputing anything that’s been said here,” said Dimmitt. “But this is up to the commission. We have no jurisdiction. I’m not sure we can legally remove someone for being in the hospital.
“Gregg readily acknowledges this situation can’t continue,” said Dimmitt. “I’ll have a conversation with Gregg again about moving forward and whether Jerry is physically able to perform the job. It’s been a problem for four years.”
Reed said he would like to hear at a commission meeting what the plan is for the future.