As Caswell County looks ahead to 2019, the county has a wide range of prominent jobs to fill.
“We’ve got a lot of jobs open right now,” County Manager Bryan Miller said in a recent interview. “Right now, just department heads, we have 911 Director. We have Solid Waste Director. We have Family Services Director, and IT Director. So we’ve got four department head positions open. 911, Harvey Rudd is retiring. Tim Smith, Solid Waste, is retiring. Francina Jones, with Family Services Director, she is moving on in her career, and has found employment outside of Caswell County. Robert Webb, our IT Director, did a tremendous job. And I think he’ll do a tremendous job as Board of Elections director.”
“Our IT director (Webb) took a different vacant position that was open in our county government, through our Board of Elections, to create that vacancy. So we have two retiring. One moving to a different department. And one leaving the service of the county altogether, but still in a related field that’s really her passion,” Miller continued. “And this is an incredible opportunity for him (Webb). And she (Jones) has done a tremendous job for the county. Obviously we wish her well. She’s still within our region, which is a plus for us. Because she did such a great job for us. Family Services Director, her last day will be December 7. 911 Director, he’s the 31st (of December). The Solid Waste Director is the 31st. The IT Director actually moved to Board of Elections on the 26th of November. There was required training in Raleigh. So we wanted to facilitate that move as quickly as possible.”
The county will have a difficult time on its hands replacing these individuals - particularly 911 Director Harvey Mudd, who has 24 years of service in Caswell County and a total of 48 years of emergency management experience, and Solid Waste Director Tim Smith, who has over 30 years of time spent working for the people of Caswell County.
“Two of those positions, Solid Waste and 911, Harvey has got 48 years of public service in communications and 911,” Miller explained. “Tim Smith, I’m sure it’s 30-plus years of service to the county. These guys have had incredible tenure, and done a fantastic job for the community. It will be a tremendous loss - and tremendous void - for the county. It’s good stuff to see people retire with more than 30 years of service. 48 years is incredible.”
“Those are true public servants,” Miller added. “The great thing about employees like Harvey and Tim is they’re willing to help. They have both stated that if we need help after the fact, that they’re just a phone call away. If whoever replaces them, or is put in that position, they can call on them and ask them questions. When you’re a public servant, it becomes a way of life. It’s not something at leisure. It’s built into your personality, and built into who you are. I don’t think you’ll see them just fade away. I think they’ll continue to be involved, and continue to be helpful to county government. For two other individuals to move on and better themselves after their careers with Caswell County, that speaks volumes.”
The job posting to replace Harvey Mudd at the 911 Center has an interesting combination to it, as the job was posted as a dual role - 911 Center Director (Telecommunications Director) and Assistant Fire Marshal.
According to the job’s posting on the county website, the work in the new role involves responsibility for planning, organizing, and directing the operation of a consolidated Communications Center engaged in providing routine and emergency communications services to law enforcement, fire, and MS units. Supervision is exercised over all Communications Center operating and clerical personnel. Work is performed with considerable independence in accordance with general policies and applicable federal and state rules and regulations. Supervises the day-to-day operations of the county-wide 911 System.
This employee is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the computerized 911 database, and performs all duties required to maintain database error files at a bare minimum. This employee has decision-making authority in the 911 database area. General supervision is received from County Sheriff Tony Durden, who reviews work through conferences and reports for the quality for communication services provided.
Although County Manager Miller confirmed that the 911/Assistant Fire Marshal job has not yet been filled, and nobody has formally interviewed for it yet, he didn’t wish to get into the specifics of the job title itself.
“I’m not going to be able to talk to you about it (the 911 Center/Assistant Fire Marshal job),” Miller told us. “And it’s basically because I’ve got some new information. And I may change my opinion on it, and change the way I think about it altogether. And I’ll be sure to let you know about that afterwards. But I’m still waiting for some clarification.”
“The job is still posted online,” the County Manager continued. “We have not interviewed anybody for it. Whatever changes are made to the job posting will not affect the applicant pool. But I may very well may end up making changes to the job description.”
Caswell County’s current Fire Marshal, Vernon Massengill, discussed some of the qualifications that would be attractive in a potential successful candidate for Assistant Fire Marshal.
“Somebody with firefighting experience,” Massengill said. “Somebody that knows the rules, regulations, and the fire codes of the state of North Carolina. Someone who can learn the various communications between the fire departments on an ongoing basis.”
“The duties of a Fire Marshal are prescribed in state codes. If somebody gets this job who has been in the fire service for a period of time, it’s not going to be difficult at all,” he continued.
“In Caswell County, we’ve got a great bunch of fire departments, great bunch of fire chiefs. Great cooperation with the emergency services faction. We all work together. We all like each other. We all get along with each other. So it’s just a matter of going out and doing the job we’ve always done. That’s what makes it so easy.”
Massengill didn’t seem overly concerned about the possibility of combining the roles of Assistant Fire Marshal and 911 Center director, explaining that numerous cities and counties across the state and country have similar setups.
“It’s that way in several locales over the state of North Carolina,” Massengill said. “Where an Emergency Management Director is also the Fire Marshall, or the EMS Director is also the Fire Marshal, or the 911 Director is also the Fire Marshal. In many municipalities and counties all over the United States - and especially in North Carolina - you’ll find that quite often. It’s not unique. It’s not just for Caswell County. It’s pretty common all over in emergency services, that one or two or three positions are kind of encumbered under one title.”
All of the county’s job postings are listed on the county’s website, www.caswellcountync.gov, for a set period of time, and then until the available positions are filled.