Jackson County Commission approves personnel changes

Suzette Lowe
Jackson Newspapers

In a brief meeting on Sept. 23, the Jackson County Commission approved several items and reviewed the report of the Office of Emergency Services (OES) director Walt Smittle.

Smittle continues to be involved with COVID-19 response, taking part in three past testing events. Goggles were provided for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.

A concerned citizen, Roberta J. Lucas, requested guidance from Commissioners Dick Waybright and Mike Randolph. Commissioner Mitch Morrison was not present.

The issue involves the Silverton Public Service District which continues to send a sewage bill although Lucas has not lived in her home since April. Illness and other concerns with the home prevent her from moving back. Having the house condemned may be the solution. According to the county’s attorney Eric Holmes, while the commission by statute has the ability to condemn, it has never formed a committee to do so.

“We have no authority over the public service districts,” Holmes said. “But we will contact them to see if we can be of some help in this matter.”

Concern for lost wages for non-profit organizations, such as senior centers, was expressed by Randolph. He will be working with Mark Whitley, executive director of the Jackson County Development Authority, to see if there is some source of assistance available.

In other business, Commissioners:

• Approved Devin Hunt as a part-time custodian for the sheriff’s building

• Approved hiring Michael Turley as a deputy sheriff effective Oct. 1, 2020

• Approved the poll worker list for the general election submitted by county clerk Cheryl Bright

• Acknowledged the retirement of process server Stephen Anderson effective Sept. 30, 2020

• Approved the hiring of Megan Lupardus as process server effective Oct. 1, 2020

The next meeting of the Commission will be at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 30 at the Jackson County Courthouse.