Two 911 Seaford center employees turn in resignations
During Tuesday’s Seaford City Council meeting, the Council approved the appointment of a 911 Services Evaluation Committee to look at the value of the city keeping its own 911 center rather than switching to the county or state system.
In the meantime, two center employees have resigned and the city must deal with fulfilling its obligations, without hiring new employees, until the Council makes a decision on what it wants to do with its 911 services.
City Manager Charles Anderson presented a recommendation to the Council regarding the staffing issue at the center. Anderson, who coordinated with police chief Marshall Craft, Jr., said that if any additional 911 center dispatchers resign, the center may have to fold down for periods of time due to regulations requiring two dispatchers on each shift.
According to Anderson, other towns use a call service when they do not have personnel available to take calls. Under the proposed policy, which is an existing directive that has been modified to address the situation, an administrative person would be on call to determine how to deal with a call that is received (when the call center is not staffed).
Councilman James King asked what the city was going to do about replacing dispatchers that resigned.
Anderson said the city could advertise the positions and hire someone, but if they are not certified it would take six months or longer, and quite a bit of money, to get them certified.
“I hope we don’t lose any more people but I don’t think at this point we can hire any more people,” said Anderson.
Vice Mayor Dan Henderson questioned why the policy was up for vote. Anderson said the staff wanted to make the Council aware of the situation. The Council chose not to vote on the policy.
Earlier in the meeting, Mayor David Genshaw presented recommendations for the 911 Service Evaluation Committee.
The group will look at the value of the city having its own center vs. switching to a county or state system and will review the cost of funding the city’s 911 service center.
Genshaw said the committee will move quickly and be thorough. Committee meetings will be public, but no public comment will be allowed.
The Council also approved a request by Terry Carson to use extra office space in city hall on Wednesdays to meet with Seaford businesses on behalf of the Western Sussex Chamber of Commerce, formerly the Seaford Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber also offered to donate its sign on West Stein Highway, located on Penco property, to the city.
The city will look at redoing the sign, possibly making it an LED sign, as well as addressing the landscaping around it.
The Council was told the sign will make no reference to the Chamber.
The Council voted unanimously to accept the donated sign, however, the city has spoken with Penco and plans to have a formal agreement drafted with the company.