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Upshur County road, bridge engineer resigns

By Christina Lane
Nov. 19, 2012 at 11 p.m.

GILMER - Upshur County Commissioners accepted the resignation of its road and bridge engineer Monday and appointed one of the department's crew chiefs to temporarily oversee the position until Feb. 1.

Commissioners unanimously accepted Eric Fisher's resignation. Fisher, who has overseen the department for the past two years, resigned because he found another job. Today is Fisher's last day of work in the county.

In a 3-1 vote, commissioners then appointed Pct. 4 Crew Chief Danny Thompson to oversee the department until a permanent engineer can be hired. Commissioners voted unanimously to allow County Judge Dean Fowler to spend up to $500 to advertise the position.

Job postings will call for applications to be received by Jan. 14. Officials plan to interview applicants Jan. 15 to Jan. 30 and hope to make an annoucement at their Jan. 31 meeting.

Fowler suggested placing the department's secretary Lisa Tefteller in the administrative position.

Other commissioners felt there was a liability with having Tefteller in the position. Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree said if something major happened, the person in charge had to be able to give an order - not consult with a foreman about what should be done.

Fisher recommended Thompson for the position, saying he has placed Thompson in charge before when he has been out of town.

During the winter months, Fisher added, there is not a lot of new road building that is done by the department. Work primarily consists of chipping, cleaning ditches, installing culverts and trimming trees, he said. The department has a plan in place for the temporary administrator to follow, he said.

Commissioners voted to put Thompson in the position, with Crabtree casting the lone dissenting vote. Crabtree said he felt an outside person should temporarily oversee the department. He expressed concern that a permanent road engineer hired in the future might feel threatened by the fact that Thompson was temporarily in charge and Crabtree did not want to see Thompson's employment end with the county because of that.



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