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Newton supervisors need fifth E-911 coordinator

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 8, 2001
DECATUR Newton County supervisors are conducting a job search for an E-911 coordinator who will be the fifth person to hold the position since it was created in 1993.
The position combines two roles E-911 coordinator and emergency management agency director.
The board of supervisors appointed Larry Wall interim coordinator in August after firing James R. Blackburn for "improper behavior." Wall later agreed to serve full-time. Supervisors accepted Wall's letter of resignation earlier this week.
Wall was a military retiree when he took the position and said he plans to go back into retirement. He said the job needs a younger person because it can be stressful.
He said Newton County does not get a lot of federal and state emergency management funding because funding is based on population and Newton County's is small at 21,742. He said that also means there is a small tax base and the county's budget can't support both E-911 and emergency management agencies.
Board President James Smith said supervisors' working together helps. The board appointed Beat 1 Supervisor Kenneth Harris to fill in until they hire a new coordinator. Wall said he is available if Harris needs him.
He said he doesn't think the combined roles are too much for one person.
He said supervisors could fill the position within a couple of weeks if they find the right person. Supervisors may interview people who applied when Blackburn was fired if the applicants are still interested in the position.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.