Holmes County Board of County Commissioners approved of hiring Clifton McGowan as the new Federal Emergency Management Agency Coordinator based on ranking during their regular meeting on March 11 with a vote of 4 to 1, with Commissioner Bill Parish voting “no.”


BONIFAY — Holmes County Board of County Commissioners approved of hiring Clifton McGowan as the new Federal Emergency Management Agency Coordinator based on ranking during their regular meeting on March 11 with a vote of 4 to 1, with Commissioner Bill Parish voting “no.”



What was to be a two-part process went into a three part process as the commissioners were to rank all five applicants and take the top two and rank them again for the top spot, however two tied for the second place spot.



The applicants were ranked and it came down to Wendel Whitehurst ranking first and Clifton McGowan and James Faircloth tied for second place.



There was a second ranking to pick the top spot for second place, which went to McGowan and then McGowan and Whitehurst were ranked again, with McGowan receiving the higher rank during the final round.



Board agreed to go into negotiations about salary, which will be presented at the next meeting and to have all of the department heads gather with the new coordinator to start the FEMA process as soon as possible.



Board approved to increase 911 Coordinator Interim Davy Rourke’s pay to $20 per hour until the new 911 Coordinator is hired and trained.



“I was not aware that I would be elected as interim or how long I would be serving as interim, so I can’t continue on just $12 an hour,” said Rourke. “This isn’t a permanent position and it is without benefits. Before it just looked like a couple of weeks, but now it looks to be a little longer.”



Parish said that the matter of pay would have been presented when he was elected as interim, however it was short notice for the Board as well.



“We should put some consideration into this for the future because there was no one in the position trained to act as backup just in case something like this happened,” said Parish.



Board approved to pay $1,336.26 to the Veterans’ Association in addition to several other counties’ contributions of the same amount to help the VA purchase a van to be used to transport veterans to various destinations such as doctors’ appointments.



Board approved of renewing the Holmes County Health Department’s Cross Country Exterminator’s Subterranean Termite Police in the amount of $290.10, which would come from the health department’s repair/maintenance funds.



The next scheduled meeting for the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners is set for 6 p.m. on March 25.