October 29, 1997 in Idaho

Kootenai County Unplugs 911 Director

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Kootenai County’s 911 director resigned under pressure Friday, after 34 months on the job.

Director Kent Hall said commissioners cited only “vague communications issues” when asking him to give up the job.

“Friday morning, county administrator Tom Taggart came to my office and said I had until 3 p.m. to submit my resignation or be fired,” Hall said. “There had been no bad performance reviews. No written notices. It really came out of the blue.”

Hall, 42, is the fourth director in as many years at the 911 center. The first director quit in 1993. Six months later, commissioners fired director Bert Rohrbach.

Then, Commissioner Mike Anderson filled in temporarily, but officials complained about him politicking on the job.

The job has long been a political hot potato. The county sheriff’s office feuded with Post Falls police for years over whether that city should drop its independent 911 system and join the county’s.

Hall said he was proud of his track record, and pointed out there had been no public infighting over 911 since he took over.

“In fact, I think there have been clear and measurable improvements made in communications during my tenure,” Hall said.

Commissioner Dick Compton denied that Hall was given an ultimatum, but refused to discuss the reasons Hall left.

“We thought it was in his best interest to resign and in the best interest of the county to accept it,” he said.

Compton also said he thought the commissioners were running the 911 center well. Taggart said the county was concerned about Hall’s “working relationships with other agencies” and “continuing employee morale” issues.

Hall said he wasn’t told what those issues were, and thought he’d improved morale.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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