O’Brien appointed 911 Director

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

After weeks of speculation, applications, interviews and discussions concerning the hiring of a new 911/Office of Emergency Services Director, an appointment was made at Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting.
Early in the meeting, county resident and Local Emergency Planning Committee member John Leyzorek briefly took the floor to address the issue and urged the commission to re-hire Shawn Dunbrack.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Shawn Dunbrack on the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and I think he has done an excellent job. He runs an excellent meeting. He is efficient. He is open to suggestions, [and] he does his homework exhaustively. He is not only well-informed on conditions in the county but state-wide and nationally. He makes a point of being in the loop on all discussions and sources of information relevant to the job he’s been doing.”
Despite Leyzorek’s input the commission appointed Michael O’Brien as the new director of the 911/Office of Emergency Services, effective June 22, 2015.
The motion to appoint passed two to one, with commissioner Jamie Walker objecting “due to his personal opinion of the review committee.”
The salary for the full-time director position is $36,000, and includes benefits.
“I think it was a very good idea having the committee,” commission president Bill Beard said. “We took their input into the reason Mr. O’Brien is on the motion. I appreciate the input those people have given us, and I think we need to move forward.”
RAD returns to the table
The commission received a letter from Snowshoe Resort President Frank DeBerry in which he thanked the commission “for taking great care to ensure that any and all public feedback into the creation of the Snowshoe Resort Area District had been heard.”
In the letter, DeBerry briefly reviewed how sentiments had changed during the process which began with a first meeting, “where nearly a dozen attendees of the full-house hearing raised concerns or objections to the petition. After careful consideration of the issues raised, we’ve been able to come to common agreement on nearly every issue …quite an accomplishment as was demonstrated in the last information session where 23 of the 26 meeting participants (most of whom are elected representatives of their individual association members) voiced their strong support for the petition.”
DeBerry urged the commission to schedule a review and approval of the process for the benefit of the property owners “who want and, in fact, need the Resort Area District to progress in order to protect their home values and keep their assessments down.”
The commission took no action with regard to DeBerry’s request.
In other items:
AirEvac representatives appeared before the commission for the second time to present additional information about their service as well as to refute points addressed in a letter from HealthNet Aeromedical Services President Clinton V. Burley. This ongoing issue will be addressed in a separate article in the June 11 edition of The Pocahontas Times.
Courthouse custodian Kenny Schoolcraft appeared on behalf of head custodian Mike Cain to present information on the deterioration of six trees on the courthouse lawn. Upon inspection, it was found that the centers of the trees have rotted, thereby creating a potential hazard. The commission took no action pertaining to the removal of the trees. Commission attorney Bob Martin was asked to contact an expert to get a professional opinion as to how to handle the situation.
Martin was directed to draft an amendment regarding road signs in the 911 Mapping and Addressing Ordinance and present it to the commission for approval.

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