Worthy’s post likely won’t split, supervisors say

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The 44 responsibilities assigned to the person who holds the position of fire coordinator and environmental officer probably will remain with one person, Warren County supervisors said Tuesday.

The board bounced back and forth on the issue, pending the retirement on May 31 of current volunteer fire chief/garbage boss Kelly Worthy.

Fire response, handling funding needs such as new equipment and serving on the E-911 Commission will stay with the person who coordinates fire response in the six volunteer fire departments outside Vicksburg.

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The management of garbage pickup, currently handled by Worthy and environmental clerk Katie Stanford, would be flipped to make the clerk the department head.

The fire and garbage management jobs are paired in nearly all Mississippi counties.

At meeting’s end, Smith agreed to simply “tweak” the current job description for the purposes of the initial advertisement.

“The field presence is worth it,” District 5 Supervisor Richard George said, referring in vivid terms to periodic visits to check on addresses to back up what a database of paying garbage customers showed. “Because that beast will bite you.”

The job will be listed internally for a week, in keeping with hiring policy for posts tied to the board, then opened to the general public. Interest is all but assured from current volunteer chiefs and top assistants, as the choice must be certified from the state fire academy in Pearl.

District 1 Supervisor John Arnold suggested transferring the garbage field checks to permitting officer Reed Birdsong. Smith favored a clear split and more vigorous legal pursuit of those who don’t pay garbage bills. Both notions were shot down.

“The nature of this thing is part time, at best,” Smith said at one point.

In general, volunteer fire crews in the Culkin, Fisher Ferry, Bovina, Eagle Lake, LeTourneau and Northeast departments work in other professions. The current force is 85 to 100, depending on the time of year.

A $1.25 monthly surcharge added to bills funds the county’s costs for enforcing solid waste disposal requirements by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.