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Secret vote fails to select new EMA director

Staff Writer

Feb. 28, 2000 10 PM

By opting to vote by secret ballot, Pike County commissioners didn’t reveal their individual choices for emergency management director in their Monday meeting.

Commissioners are down to three choices for the position, but are deadlocked on the candidates, with each of the three garnering two commission votes.

Commissioners wouldn’t disclose their choices and chose to use a secret ballot to make the selection. When the results of the first vote left no clear-cut winner, commissioners again voted secretly with the same result.

Tallies from ballots gave two votes apiece to Larry Davis of Brundidge, Michael Tatom of Toy and Deslie Galloway, also of Troy.

Though each candidate netted two votes, secret ballots prevent the public from knowing which candidate each commissioner supports.

Final decision on the matter has been tabled until the commissioners can discuss it further.

Chairman Larry Penn said he voted on the recommendation of the state, but didn’t elaborate on what that recommendation was.

"We had three really good candidates," Commissioner Karen Berry said.

Selection of a new director is necessary due to the retirement of former emergency management director Ralph Fowee.

The position pays in the upper $2O,OOO range.

In other business, the commission:

· Gave Sheriff Russell Thomas permission to move the department’s investigation division into a vacant jury room in order to provide a working area for deputies. Thomas said jurors will also be able to use the room when it’s needed.

"We want to dress this room up and have a nice place for them (deputies) to work and for the jury to go," Thomas said.

· Adjusted salaries for two road department employees who successfully completed their probation period.

· Approved advertising for five vacancies in the road department

and readvertising the vacancy for mapper/revenue commissioner.

· Decided to file a request with the Justice Department to move a polling place from Goshen Town Hall to the Goshen Fire Department. Renovations being made to the town hall will not be comple:ted in time for the Mar. 21 Constitutional Amendment Election.

· Named County Road 59 from Hamilton Crossroads to County Road 73 Shiver Road.