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Board of Supervisors honors Hawley, moves to authorize joint dispatch project ‘with all acts necessary’

Hawley 1By CALVIN PYNN

calvin@southwesttimes.com

 

The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors started off Tuesday night’s meeting by presenting former town manager John Hawley with a resolution of appreciation.

Chairman Joe Sheffey, a longtime friend of Hawley, personally presented the resolution on behalf of the Board. The resolution was adopted to recognize John Hawley for over 38 years of service with the town of Pulaski.

“It’s always been about trying to make Pulaski better,” Hawley said. “I’m looking forward to enjoying retirement.”

Hawley will begin his retirement in April, and will serve as liaison to new Town Manager Shawn Utt until then. His achievements over the course of his career include overseeing the establishing the Pulaski Area Transit, recruitment of James Hardie Building Products, and construction of the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Transportation Museum. He was also recognized for his leadership skills through the recent economic downturn, as well as the 2011 tornadoes.

“Don’t worry, you’ll still get plenty of calls,” Sheffey jokingly advised Hawley. “Once you retire from one area, you get a lot of phone calls.”

The Board of Supervisors later agreed to authorize the consolidation of all town and county dispatch operations for a proposed Joint Dispatch Center.

This motion followed a request presented at last week’s town council meeting, when the Joint Dispatch Committee proposed to consolidate local 911 call centers. The project would alleviate the current under-staffing and call-traffic issues in the town and county’s dispatch centers.

The project, which has been in development for the past year, has been waiting on a formal agreement before moving forward. The Board recognized the public safety priority as they decided to move forward with the decision to authorize the project.

Board member Andy MCready emphasized the immediate need for the project.

“If we don’t plan on the future, we are planning to fail,” said MCready.

The Board also moved to approve a request from the Pulaski YMCA for the county’s help in funding inmate assistance to fix up the facility.

YMCA Board member Dan Grubb, along with Executive Director Allison Hunter, presented the request to the Board of Supervisors. According to Grubb, the facility is in need of some cosmetic repair, particularly painting, cleaning the ceiling and fixing the lights.

Normally, the first day of work is given for free to demonstrate the nonprofit service’s benefits. All subsequent charges help fund the salary for the officer supervising the inmates.

Right now, the YMCA is planning some new programs, including a free day of swimming lessons every month, movie nights, and other events for families and children who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford the YMCA’s services.

“This is just the beginning,” said Hunter.

Other local groups, such as Friends of the Pulaski Theater, have utilized the outreach program for inmate assistance.