County has emergency dilemma

David Cary

CANYON CITY - David Cary's recent resignation created a major problem for Grant County.

Cary, an 18-year county employee, submitted a letter of resignation from his position as Emergency Management and Bioterrorism Coordinator, Safety Officer and American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator last week causing a dilemma for the Grant County Court and leaving a big hole to fill.

"His position was a hodgepodge of several jobs combined into one and we are going to have a problem finding a replacement," County Judge Dennis Reynolds said.

Chief among the problems is that the bioterrorism coordinator must also be a nurse.

"The position Cary was in paid a salary of $35,268 and with the current shortage of nurses in Oregon, you can't hire a nurse for that amount of money," Reynolds said.

Cary's resignation came after the County Court had granted him a four-month unpaid leave of absence for "personal reasons."

"He was having some personal problems and asked us for a six-month leave to get things straightened out," Reynolds said. "We gave him four (months) and told him as soon as he made a decision on what he wanted to do to let us know. Last week, he submitted his letter of resignation."

Reynolds said the county had a lot of time, money and training invested in Cary and the county is now "back to square one."

Cary was the emergency management coordinator and had the bioterrorism position included in his duties about a year ago.

"With his nurse's training, we felt he was a good fit for the position," Reynolds commented. "His job with the county was one which was always changing and new responsibilities being added."

Reynolds met with Sheriff Glenn Palmer and Karen Triplett from the Grant County Health Department to hammer out some kind of a job description for the position.

It's going to be difficult finding someone to fill Cary's position, Reynolds said. Triplett has been advertising for a part-time nurse, but can't find anyone who wants to take the job for the salary the county is able to pay.

"Realistically, we will probably be separating the positions," Reynolds said. "The Sheriff said he wanted to take over the emergency management duties as he said there were times when he was unable to contact Cary because he was out of town in training."

Cary, who had worked in several positions while employed by Grant County, will reportedly be moving to Redmond to continue his nursing career.

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