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Carpenter new EMA director

By a 3-to-1 vote Monday, commissioners named Susan Carpenter as the county’s new emergency management agency director.

Carpenter, a former county EMA director with 10 years experience, was one of five candidates to interview for the position Thursday. Chairman Lynn Sasser said she received the most votes when each commissioner called in their choice for the position. Commissioner Carl Turman, who cast the only opposing vote, said, “I have nothing against (Carpenter). It’s just that I voted to go another way when we first called in and felt I shouldn’t change my mind today.”

She is expected to begin her new post after working out a notice with her current employer. County officials hope it will be within the next two weeks.

Commissioners also heard from Thomas Williams, who spoke on the county’s need to help disabled residents who might be confined to their home because their doorways are not handicap accessible.

Williams asked commissioners to examine ways to secure grant funding to help those in need.

“It just tears me up to know there are those who can’t do for themselves,” Williams said. “We need to help the disabled. There’s no telling how many people are confined and can’t get through their own doorways. I would like to ask for you to help get things started.”

Commissioners applauded Williams’ commitment and agreed that “something needed to be done.”

In other business, the commission:

approved a resolution to petition the legislature to rename portions of U.S. Hwy. 331 within the county’s jurisdiction as “The Beach Highway.”

agreed to solicit bids for payphone service at the Covington County Jail.

established procedures for the county’s personnel review board, a seven-member board with two, three and four-year staggering terms that will convene to hear employee grievances.

announced bids for the courthouse roof will be opened Thurs., July 23.