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Emergency management director is appointed

Friday, December 8, 2006

MIssissippi County news

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County has a new emergency management director.

During their regular meeting Thursday, county commissioners first accepted the resignation of the former director, Brenda Bickford, before appointing Danny Harris of Charleston to the position.

In her letter of resignation, Bickford explained she was unable to dedicate enough time to the position due to her job as court marshal for the drug court.

"The emergency management is very time consuming and it has a lot of needs," Bickford wrote. "The meetings need to be attended and I am unable to do so because I am busy with my other job."

She advised the county's Local Emergency Operations Plan book was brought up to date and copies distributed and that she advised municipalities of the training they need.

When offered the emergency management director position, Harris said he is "more than happy to give it a try."

Harris has been director of the Mississippi County Rescue Squad for three years and has a total of 13 years with the squad.

The emergency management director position "is a lot bigger job than people take it for," Presiding Commission Jim Blumenberg said, "and it's getting more important all the time."

Blumenberg said whether it is a tornado, earthquake or some other event, "one of these days, something is going to happen."

Sheriff Keith Moore said the emergency management position is also important for securing grant funding, which is something he said Harris has knowledge of and experience with.

Commissioners also approved an annual salary of $3,000 plus mileage reimbursement for the emergency management director position.