Morgan appointed interim Engineer


July 14, 2022

DAYTON-The Columbia County Commissioners (BOCC) appointed an interim county engineer; held interviews throughout the day relating to the Director of Emergency Management and three County Board of Health positions; and finished with an evening meeting with the Planning Commission on July 11.

The BOCC approved the appointment of Garfield County Engineer Walter Grant Morgan as acting interim engineer for Columbia County.

Morning interviews were held on July 11 in executive session for the Director of Emergency Management after the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) reviewed interview questions with Sheriff Joe Helm and Fire Chief Jeromy Phinney.

The BOCC went over interview questions with Sheriff Joe Helm and Fire Chief Jeromy Phinney for applicants for Director of Emergency Management. They discussed holding second interviews as well. Three interviews were held in executive session with two more scheduled for the following Monday on July 18.

Applicants to the Board of the Health were given public interviews to fill three positions of the six- person board. The Board has previously consisted of only the Commissioners but with new legislation passed, the Board is required to have three non-elected county citizens chosen by the Commission one each from three categories: a medical professional employed in the County, a consumer of health (preferably someone who is underserved) and a stakeholder in the County. Five of the six applicants were interviewed with one interview postponed for a later date to be determined. Interviewees were Heather Hiebert, Kathryn Tapio, Dave Schreck and Debbie Davis – all of whom would qualify for the last two categories. The final interview was with Dawn Meicher who is a nurse practitioner, and the postponed interview was with Nancy Laughery who is a nurse. Both would fulfill the first category. The Commissioners said they will make a decision during the next regular meeting on July 18.

Afternoon interviews were conducted publicly to fill three positions for the County Board of Health and an evening meeting was held jointly with the Planning Commission for an update on the Regional Shoreline Master Program.

Following the interviews, the BOCC had a joint meeting with the Planning Commission to hear an update on the Southeastern Washington Shoreline Master Program (SMP) given by Sara Noland and Ben Floyd from Anchor QEA. The regional SMP is for water bodies including larger ones like Asotin Creek, Grand Ronde, Snake and Tucannon rivers, smaller ones like the Touchet and Wenaha Rivers and some larger creeks, as well as some flood plains and associated wetlands. The purpose is for balancing environmental protection, public access, and water-oriented uses. Plans are for the final updated plan to be completed by July of next year.


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