Court picks new EMS director
Woodford Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday to offer the job of Emergency Medical Services director to 27-year veteran Freeman Bailey, but differed over how much to pay him. As a result, Bailey was offered the job, but won't know what he'll be paid if he accepts the job until the court's Aug. 23 meeting. Bailey was the assistant director of the department and took over as acting director when longtime EMS chief Hunter Shewmaker retired last month. Bailey's nomination from the personnel committee was unanimous, chair Duncan Gardiner (Dist. 6) said. Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) wondered if the $71,300 annual salary endorsed by the committee was in line with the county's pay scale and asked for more discussion on the matter. Personnel Director Devetta Jackson said there were other considerations made in the offer, including the committee's request to applicants that they be available on a 24/7 basis. "That's why it is not within our pay scale," Jackson said. Magistrate Jackie Brown (Dist. 8) asked if it hadn't always been that way. Jackson said yes, and said based on the county's salary scale, the job would pay about $65,000. "To turn around and give him $6,300 more and Pee Wee (Shewmaker), when he retired, was making $2,000 more (than $65,000)," Brown said. "Which was also outside of our pay scale," Jackson said. Brown and other magistrates said they endorsed the choice of Bailey as EMS director, but wanted to further study the salary question. County Attorney Alan George suggested they offer the job to Bailey pending another meeting of the personnel committee and vote by the full court. A motion to that effect was made and passed unanimously. Courthouse security Woodford Sheriff Wayne Wright gave the court an update on last month's plan to install a metal detector outside the entrance to the sheriff's department and close all other entrances. On July 12, after the fatal courthouse shooting in Michigan and an incident in the Woodford County Courthouse Annex, in which an inmate overturned a table, the court voted to spend $30,000 to buy the detector and beef up security. Wright said he'd just met with officials from the state Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and had ordered new doors, which should arrive in four to six weeks. He suggested the court add a second metal detector for the main entrance. Magistrates discussed the cost of the second metal detector and part-time employees needed to monitor them and 16 courthouse cameras. Wright said the AOC will pay about two-thirds the cost of the extra employees, but only on days the circuit courtroom on the third floor is in use. Woodford Judge-Executive John Coyle and George said they didn't want the courthouse to resemble Fort Knox or, as George added, a penitentiary. Wright said the AOC had never turned down a Woodford judge's request for reimbursements. Coyle said he wanted citizens and courthouse employees to feel safe. Wright said they'd start out with one metal detector and the court could add another later if needed. BACKUPPS The court voted unanimously in favor of a resolution amending the interlocal agreement for The Bluegrass and Central Kentucky Unified Police Protection System (BACKUPPS). The new agreement adds the cities of Stamping Ground, LaGrange and Wilmore and counties of Anderson, Breckinridge, Carroll, Gallatin, Garrard, Hardin, Harrison, Hart, Henry, Jessamine, Marion, Mason, Menifee, Oldham, Rowan and Washington to the program. Presently, BACKUPPS covers 15 cities and 11 counties, including Versailles and Woodford County. The Morehead State University Police Department was also added to BACKUPPS. The program sets rules and procedures for inter-departmental cooperation needed when investigations and crimes involve different jurisdictions. Gormley plaque Mark Gormley, a longtime member of the Woodford Fire District Board and former county attorney, was recently honored for his years of service with a plaque. Coyle said Gormley told him if he kept it at home, nobody would see it, and asked that it be displayed somewhere in the courthouse. A motion to do so, with the site to be selected later, passed unanimously.