January 17, 2018 11:09:13 AM
Oktibbeha County Supervisors decided to reappoint longtime county fire coordinator Kirk Rosenhan to his post for a full year during Tuesday's meeting.
Rosenhan's position seemed to be in jeopardy when supervisors voted to only reappoint him for two weeks at the first meeting of the year. District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard voiced frustrations with Rosenhan's work and questioned his dedication to the job.
During the meeting, Rosenhan -- first appointed in 1988 -- acknowledged he doesn't plan to hold the position forever, and he's taken some preliminary steps to find a potential successor.
"I've probably been here too long to begin with, but it's just what I like to do and I like to think I'm contributing," Rosenhan said.
Supervisors unanimously appointed Rosenhan to another year, though the appointment may signal the beginning of a transition period to prepare for a new fire coordinator.
Howard said that, when a transition begins, he hopes the volunteer firefighters representing six of the county's seven volunteer departments who attended Tuesday's meeting would get involved.
"I'm hoping that your transition period can be graceful," Howard said. "During that transition period, I'm hoping that all these men that are sitting here in this room today will be willing to come back and sit down so we can talk fire."
Howard also disputed a claim Rosenhan made to The Dispatch in which he said of Austin Check, "he wants my job, and he damn near got it." Howard said Check, a training officer with the county's fire departments, didn't initially approach him. Instead, he said, he went to Check when he felt his conversations with Rosenhan on how to improve the Bell Schoolhouse Fire District's fire rating weren't bearing fruit.
"Let me clear this up, and I want everybody to hear this," Howard said. "Austin Check didn't approach me. I approached Austin Check for some help. "
Check, during the meeting, lamented the situation "devolved" to what it did. However, he said he plans to continue to keeping in touch with supervisors as projects progress so they're aware of the work going on in the county.
"I'm not a proponent of airing dirty laundry in public," he said. "But I will say every single one of these projects gets done the same way. I think it's important the supervisors know what's going on in their districts."
Rosenhan, speaking to The Dispatch, said he was thankful for the board's decision to reappoint him. He added that he will work to communicate more effectively with board members on the county fire departments' work and progress.
"I'm certainly happy the board made the decision that they did," Rosenhan said. "I'm going to communicate more with the board to ensure that they're aware of what we're doing and how we're doing it."
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