It is not a good month for the city’s law enforcement department.
One week after Jarod Barnes was fired as police chief, the city added dispatchers to its wish list after the majority of its staff quit Tuesday morning.
Interim City Manager Brian Scribner said the department’s two dispatchers quit Tuesday morning. One vacancy was filled, but in an effort to provide security for residents, the city is leaning on the Carter County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers to help shoulder the load.
“We are down to one right now, and when she is not on, the county is doing it for us,” Scribner said. “We had two, and this morning, they quit. We did have another come back to work for us today. I talked to the undersheriff, and they will do the dispatching when we are in between.”
Scribner said a former city dispatcher has expressed interest in coming back to work, and is scheduled to come in for an interview.
The loss of its dispatchers is simply another vacancy for the city as it looks to fill personnel holes. Scribner had been serving as co-city manager, along with Adrienne Louwerse. During a city council meeting Monday, the council elected to give Scribner all interim city manager duties. Louwerse retained her position as city treasurer and clerk.
“We are just trying to figure out who is in control,” councilman Rick Pender said. “One of the assistants was gone for a week on vacation, and there were some questions. There were some communication issues; there was not a direct line of communication. We are going to let Brian take it.”
Pender also said the council had identified five finalists for its city manager position. The council narrowed down a pool of more than 15 applicants to five during the council meeting.
“We will probably do some interviews in June,” Pender said. “We had a good turnout, and we like some of them.”
The city terminated Charles Clark as its city manager during a meeting in May.