When the next hurricane or hazardous material event occurs in Nacogdoches County a different person will be coordinating the emergency response. The county's emergency management coordinator position will be dissolved. After October 31st, the emergency management coordinator for the City of Nacogdoches will serve both the city and county. Just last week Robert Hurst organized Hurricane Gustav preparations. By his side was Tommy Wheeler, with the city. He'll be taking over Hurst's duties.
Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English says his decision came in an effort to streamline costs. Hurst received an annual salary of $15,000. He's worked for the county since 2002 serving during the Shuttle Columbia disaster and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Messages were left Hurst's cell phone. Wheeler will become the single contact for a crisis in the city or the county. The county will not pay any portion of his salary or expenses.
Release from Judge Joe English:
In recent months your County and City Officials have made great strides in improving the working relationship nd quality of services provided Nacogdoches County citizens. We have combined efforts and resources on anumber of special projects. Our goal is to reduce duplication of services, thus streamlining costs. Our joint cooperative efforts are also intended to improve our level of effectiveness by maximizing resources. These combined efforts improve communication between County and City. Our combined efforts have achieved great success and we plan to continue these efforts in the future. This is especially true in the area of public safety.
With these common goals in mind, it is my privilege to announce our most recent cooperative agreement. Effective October 31, 2008, the County and City of Nacogdoches will begin utilizing a single Emergency Management Coordinator. Hurricane Gustav is a recent example of how both City and County officials must work hand-in-hand to meet the needs of this community during crisis. To ensure we are working in unison to achieve our objectives, having a single point of contact at the Emergency Management Coordinator's position makes perfect sense. This is one more example of the outstanding dedication to service that we share and proof that we are committed to finding ways we can better serve you. Tommy Wheeler, who is currently the City's Emergency Management Coordinator, will serve as the Coordinator for both the County and City.