County nears 911 director search ending

ALPENA –The Alpena County Personnel Committee has completed its interviews with candidates for the open 911 director/emergency services coordinator and if the contract offer from the county is accepted and signed, the new director could be announced Tuesday.

The position became open when former director Mark Gurisko resigned after being arrested in the spring. The search for a replacement began shortly after that.

Committee Chairman Brad McRobert said there were about a dozen applicants and they were narrowed to six who were interviewed. He said all of the finalists were good candidates, but he is confident in the committee’s selection.

“There was a mix of people from out of town and from the Alpena area,” McRoberts said. “We had a strong pool to choose from and it made for very interesting discussion that led to the choice.”

McRoberts said the committee took several different criteria when considering the candidates. He said experience was key, as well as education and familiarity with emergency management regulations and laws.

He said the number one criteria he considered was the person needed to be someone who can work well with other people and make sure the day-to-day operations are done properly and emergency responses handled the way training is taught.

“Having someone with leadership skills was huge,” he said. “We needed to have someone in there that could lead. Like I said, all of the candidates were good and it was a hard decision to make.”

Roy Wekwert took on the position in an interim capacity and has run operations at the 911 dispatch center and dealt with the board of commissioners directly on projects such as the implementation of the new smart 911 system. McRobert said he say who the new director will be because the contract isn’t finalized, but said Wekwert did a fine job while filling in.

“Roy’s done an excellent job and stepped up to the plate when there were a lot of irons in the fire,” McRoberts said. “He took care of them and has done a really fine job.”

McRoberts said he hopes the new director can be introduced at the commissioner’s meeting Tuesday, but the needed paperwork would need to be signed and filed and the background check cleared. He thought the new employee could begin work right after Jan.1.

The board of commissioners meeting begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Howard Male Conference Room inside the county’s annex building. The meeting is open to the public and comment is welcome.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.