At the regular Kittson County Board meeting on February 20, the commissioners accepted with regret a letter of retirement from Kittson County Emergency Management Director Barb O’Hara.
O’Hara has worked for the county for 39 years, starting out in the Highway Department. Commissioner Joe Bouvette said, “You’ve represented Kittson County really well. You’ve earned your retirement.”
In an update to the board, O’Hara said she attended a state meeting last week, where two separate speakers recognized Kittson County’s handling of disasters. Compared to bigger counties, the disasters faced here are “nothing,” but in a bigger county, the dollar amount per capita would add up to millions of dollars.
Out of a crowd of 450, O’Hara said she was happy to hear Kittson County recognized. “I was pretty happy…. Kittson County looked really good.”
Sheriff Steve Porter informed the board that he had received no applicants for the dispatcher/jailer position. Porter said they lose a dispatcher every two years on average, costing about $5,000 each time to hire and train someone.
As a solution, Porter suggested increasing the night differential to an extra $7 per hour.
“It’s an important position and something needs to be done,” Porter said. “Somehow we need to retain these people. Sometimes we’ve got to spend money to keep good people.”
For more on the discussion, see this week’s North Star News!