Lincoln County plans to split the position of director of communications and emergency management – currently one full-time position – into two full-time positions, according to County Administrator Carrie Kipfer.
Tod Hartung has been the county’s director of communications – responsible for oversight of the Lincoln County Communications Center, which receives 911 calls and dispatches emergency personnel – and the director of the county’s emergency management agency since August 2012.
Hartung presented the departments’ draft budgets, which incorporate the change, to the Lincoln County Budget Advisory Committee at a public hearing Sept. 29. The committee voted in favor of the budget Oct. 13.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners discussed the issue in a closed-door meeting Tuesday, Nov. 1. According to Kipfer, she presented a job description for both directors to the commissioners and the commissioners approved the plan after returning to public session.
The county will advertise both jobs. Hartung will have to reapply, and is welcome to do so, according to Kipfer.
“We will advertise and post the positions internally and externally,” Kipfer said. “Anyone can apply for either of the jobs.”
Kipfer said having one director for both departments is not working for the county. For example, the director has to attend meetings in Augusta on different days in his different capacities, which does not leave enough time to complete other work.
During a brief telephone interview, Hartung, who returned to work Wednesday, Nov. 2 after a five-day vacation, said he is glad to see the county take a strong position on the issue.
“It will be beneficial to the county and the people working for the county, having a director for each department. It has needed to be done for a long time. Both jobs require 40 hours a week,” he said.