Citing ‘family issues,’ county EMD to leave position by end of 2020

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 11/25/20

HERMANN — With a little more than a month left in his first year since returning at Gasconade County’s head of emergency management, Dan Dyer has submitted his resignation.

Presiding …

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Citing ‘family issues,’ county EMD to leave position by end of 2020

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HERMANN — With a little more than a month left in his first year since returning at Gasconade County’s head of emergency management, Dan Dyer has submitted his resignation.

Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel, R-Hermann, Thursday morning announced Dyer’s decision, saying the resignation would be effective at the end of this year.

“He’s got some family issues and we totally support him,” Miskel said.

Dyer began his latest tenure at the county’s emergency management director Jan. 1. He was often praised by the County Commission for his efforts in the part-time role, noting the many events and meetings he took part in while running the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

Dyer remained a full-time firefighter with a St. Louis County fire protection district while he carried out his EMD duties. He served as the county’s EMD several years ago.

“He has been a Godsent to the EMD office,” Miskel said. “I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

Dyer already has done what he can towards crafting a 2021 budget request for the Emergency Operations Center, county officials noted. An effort will begin to find a successor to fill the post Jan. 1.

Related to Dyer’s announced resignation, Miskel said a meeting on developing the county’s latest version of its hazard mitigation plan has been postpone until sometime after the first of the year. A specific date has not been chosen, the presiding commissioner said during the administrative panel’s weekly session in the courthouse.

Meanwhile, the Commission Thursday morning agreed to have Coroner-elect Jeff Arnold operate out of his Owensville home, rather than fashion a Coroner’s Office out of space at the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department building in Swiss. However, county officials agreed to place a cooler for storage of bodies at the Swiss location.

Arnold argued that having an office at the Swiss site would amount to a large cost in terms of travel. “If we put the office in Swiss, that’s going to take a lot of burning up and down the highway,” he said. Rather, he said, he could convert part of his home into a working area. “It’s not what I want to do, but I’d rather do that than drive up and down the highway to Swiss,” the incoming coroner said.

Arnold presented the Commission with a price quote from the city of Owensville for possible leased space in the city’s old library building. The city also asked county officials to submit a counteroffer. The administrators decided to allow Arnold to work out of his home.

The coroner-elect also informed the Commission that he will have other, more full-time, duties during his time as coroner. Arnold said he will be working as Owensville’s emergency management director and code enforcement/building inspector. He said he is scheduled to work five days a week at 20 hours a week in each of those roles beginning in December.

Interim Sheriff Scott Eiler, who begins serving his first full term as sheriff Jan. 1, told the Commission he will be taking part in training for new sheriffs Dec. 7-18 in Jefferson City.

During last week’s short session, Miskel also noted that complaints about the condition of Highway F from Highway J to Highway 19 at Swiss continue to come in. “We’ve got a lot of complaints about Highway F,” he said, noting that state highway agency officials “are aware of it.”

Indeed, Meramec Region District Engineer Preston Kramer last month cautioned county officials and others from expecting any major upgrades to Highway F as long as dump trucks loaded with rock and clay being mined from a nearby quarry travel the highway. During a meeting to consider priority transportation projects for Gasconade County, Kramer acknowledged that the heavy vehicles were damaging the road “faster than we can patch it.”

Miskel said the Missouri Department of Transportation will continue to make improvements to the road as it can. “They’ll repair it as needed,” he said.

While Gasconade County R-2 School District’s annual legislative breakfast has been scrapped because of the coronavirus, the 2020 Governmental Relations Day held by Gasconade County R-1 School District remains on the schedule, set for Thursday, Dec. 10. State legislators, representatives of federal lawmakers and local elected officials are invited to hear a state-of-district report, as well as a legislative wishlist from administration.

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