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Work in progess: Firings and resignations and emergency services

Posted Monday, April 12, 2010, at 5:12 PM

An update on a couple of stories I know people are interested in:

Brandon Russell resigns
The Marshall school board held a closed meeting Friday morning to discuss personnel matters, and one of the things the board did was to accept the resignation of Brandon Russell as assistant superintendent. I had planned to talk to Russell and/or Superintendent Craig Noah during a board meeting Friday evening. The later meeting was rescheduled, so I missed a chance (and wished I'd called in the afternoon instead). I'll contact Russell Monday and ask why he is leaving.

Update: www.marshallnews.com/story/1625741.html

Patt Morgan fired, still working
The county commission recently attempted to terminate Patt Morgan, a long-time staff member in the county clerk's office, but she continues working on advice from her attorney. Aside from County Clerk Ken Bryant, none of the officials involved is willing to talk on the record (as is common in cases like this). We can't compel people to talk, but we can obtain pertinent public records that may help us understand why the situation developed. We've made two requests for documents from the auditor's office, but so far we have not phrased the request precisely enough to get the information we seek. This, too, is a normal part of the process. We plan to make a new request next week and hope to shed some light on the situation soon.

Emergency dispatcher arrangement
Questions have come up about why Marshall police and the sheriff's office still have their own dispatchers now that the new E911 center is up and running. I can't remember whether this issue was addressed thoroughly in the past, so we will take a look at it, asking officials from all three agencies to discuss the reasons for the current setup.

Update: Geoff is doing interviews this week with various agency officials in order to explain the current staffing levels and responsibilities of dispatch centers in the county.

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]

The fire department is fully dispatched by the new E-9-1-1

-- Posted by timetoburn on Tue, Apr 13, 2010, at 3:11 PM

Eric is it possible to have police and fire dispatchers for NON emergency calls freeing up the 911 lines for real emergencys? just a thought.

-- Posted by midniterebel on Tue, Apr 13, 2010, at 7:06 AM

Thanks Eric. My only comment is about the E911/city/county. Seems like a huge waste of tax paying dollars to be paying 3 sets of dispatchers...to all do the same thing...

-- Posted by Scarpetta on Mon, Apr 12, 2010, at 2:06 PM

I do find it odd that they posted the open position and are allowing one week for applications and plan to hire on April 20th. There isnt time to actually receive applications, interview and actually choose the correct person for the job. They have to already have someone in line to take over or they would allow more time for the application process. Why do they feel the need to keep people in the dark about these things. If they already have someone in line, they should just announce it along with the "resignation" announcement. If they wouldnt act in such a shady manner all the time, the public would probably support them a little bit more.

-- Posted by ALM on Mon, Apr 12, 2010, at 9:17 AM

Eric, I want to thank you for working so hard to find out about the news in our county and letting us know that you are indeed working on it. I have found your paper to be full of the stuff that I want to read about-- much better than --- Slater's newspaper (no news) that just gives insight into the owner's life.

-- Posted by workingmom on Mon, Apr 12, 2010, at 8:42 AM

Thank you Eric, good feedback. From what I can recall, wasn't Mr. Russell hired by Dr. Noah after he first took over at Marshall Schools? And as mentioned before on the blog, let's wait to see what the leadership has to say before everyone gets there long knives out.

Now regarding the E911 issue. I tend not to be a conspiracy theory kind of guy, but the fact that the MPD chief of police, along with the fire department chief are on the E911 commission, you have to wonder if part of their reasoning/interest is to protect their turf from others who might want to develop a more consolidated plan for emergency dispatching in town. I would think that having these types of guys on the board would certainly add expertise to the E911 commission, but I would be wary as to their full plans. Let's face it, no bureaucrat ever got promoted by shrinking his/her operation. My comments not meant as a slight to any of these guys as I have never met them, just my two cents as a result of a long time working and watching the federal bureaucracy at their best and worst. I look forward to what your story turns up Eric; I think asking the questions is also a good way to remind the commission that the public is interested.

-- Posted by oceanlord49 on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 2:05 PM

I really like Mr. Russell. He is always very friendly and has an upbeat personality. This is sad news for the Marshall School District....but whats new?!

-- Posted by ALM on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 5:50 PM

he's leaving because Noah doesn't want him here. He's going to make room for one of Noah's buddies. Wait and see.

-- Posted by momaster on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 4:16 PM

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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.
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