Brown County Judge Paul Lilly, who was away at training when commissioners met Monday, learned quickly that commissioners had voted to rescind a resolution that created the office of county fire marshal and named David Creed to the position.
Lilly emailed the following statement to the Bulletin.
When I was running for the office of county judge, I made a promise that I would do all that I could to help the county government operate more efficiently and professionally.
When I appointed Chief Creed as the emergency management coordinator (a position that has existed for many, many years), it turned out that he also holds a law enforcement license and a fire/arson investigator license. I asked Chief Creed if he would be willing to perform those services in addition to the duties of emergency management coordinator, but explained to him that I wouldn’t be able to pay him any more than the salary that was already budgeted for the coordinator position.
Out of dedication to the citizens of the county he agreed to take on the additional duties and no additional compensation. In fact by doing so the move saved the county from having to pay a contract investigator to go out into the county and conduct those types of investigations. In 2018 alone the county paid over $6,000 for such contract services.
The city fire marshal does a great job at performing this service for us, but again I was trying to operate the county budget just the way everyone has to operate their own finances, but finding ways to do more with less.
This is what I promised when I sought this office and that is what the commissioners voted and approved back on Feb. 11 when they approved the resolution adding the fire marshal duties to the duties of the emergency management coordinator. Now, for reasons passing understanding, three of the longtime commissioners voted to repeal that resolution, which will force us to again spend taxpayer money to contract to have the services performed.
In short, we will now again have to pay someone to perform the duties that were being performed free of charge. It saddens me, for this is the very thing the citizens voted to move away from in the last election.
We must start finding ways to operate more effectively and professionally and government must learn to start doing more with less, especially when it’s the taxpayers’ dollar. I am saddened by this move backwards.
I do want to add that this was done while I was away at State Emergency Management Training and unable to challenge the move. I would however like to applaud Commissioner Kelton who voted against the repeal of the resolution.
We need to be moving forward, not backwards. It’s embarrassing and our voters and taxpayers deserve better.