Fiscal Court approves interim 911 director

Jul. 27—Here's a dispatch from the Pulaski County Fiscal Court: Beverly Haynes is the interim director of the Pulaski County 911 Center.

Haynes, who has served as a dispatcher for a number years with the 911 Center, making her among the most senior employees there, was approved by the fiscal court on Tuesday to step in and lead the facility for the rest of the year.

"She'll no longer be TAC, she's going to be interim director until (judge-executive-elect) Marshall (Todd) comes in and we get somebody permanent," said current Pulaski Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, who lost to Todd in May's Primary Election.

Aaron Ross departed the position in April, and for weeks fiscal court meetings have seen discussion on the topic. At the meeting on June 28, Fourth District Magistrate Mark Ranshaw talked about a director needing to be appointed, as Ross had also filled that position, and Kelley responded that he had spoken to Todd about it, and that they want to make sure to get someone he's comfortable with. Kelley also mentioned at the last meeting, from mid-July, that the 911 center has been experiencing "a lot of problems."

It's the second time Haynes' name has come up in recent fiscal court meetings. At the June 28 meeting, Kelley requested naming Haynes and Andrea Scales shift supervisors and assistant TAC (terminal agency coordinator, the latter a role required for every agency that accesses FBI Criminal Justice Information Services systems) at the Pulaski County 911 Center. The two roles tend to go hand-in-hand at the local 911 hub, as there hasn't been a specific assistant TAC position held there.

The minutes, however, only reflected that the two were chosen to be assistant TAC, and not shift supervisors. After the discrepancy was pointed out at the beginning of the July 12 meeting, Ranshaw stated that he'd fielded complaint calls from others that weren't considered for the positions. Ranshaw asked that Kelley go back and offer the position to everyone again and address it again in two weeks, while First District Magistrate Jason Turpen made a motion to accept the jobs as presented in the minutes — as assistant TAC, without changing it to reflect the supervisor position.

That's indeed what the court voted to do, which necessitated a change to the administrative code, creating the assistant TAC position. A first reading was given to that amended code on Tuesday (with no vote taken yet by the magistrates). Kelley expects further changes by the time of a second reading, he told the Commonwealth Journal, including clarifying what someone with the "interim" level is paid.

"It's kind of vague right now," said Kelley. The clarification would likely state that the person with the interim label is paid the same as the person who would permanently hold the position. This is because of a question raised at Tuesday's meeting about what Haynes would be paid in the job, with County Attorney Martin Hatfield determining that the pay was determined by the minimum for that position's class on the pay scale, without mention of whether it referred to an interim role or not.

Because of the events of the last two meetings, with the assistant TAC position taken care of with Scales, the court is actively interviewing for what is now a separate position, shift supervisor, and in fact is looking for a couple of them. Scales is the only assistant TAC, with Marissa Lay holding the primary TAC role.

Kelley also asked the court to transfer maintenance employee Donald Wilson to the Pulaski County Judicial center to replace maintenance worker Eddie Ping, which was approved. This prompted Ranshaw to ask if the position he was filling had been offered to anyone else, and said that it should be offered openly. Kelley said that policy was taken out of the code "because you all didn't like having to do that," and Ranshaw said that it should be in the code. Ranshaw later said that open positions should be advertised before they're filled, and Kelley said that could be added to the second reading of the administrative code.