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Search is on for new Emergency Management Director

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KENT—The hunt is on again for a volunteer Emergency Management Director. Brian Hunt, who has been on the job for only a few months, has had to resign because of work schedule conflicts and other concerns and the selectmen are seeking a replacement. 

In a letter of resignation received last week, Hunt said, “I am writing to formally resign from my positions as Emergency Management Director for the Town of Kent, effective immediately. When I accepted this position, I was optimistic about the opportunities to make a positive impact on the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). However, it has become increasingly clear that the demands of my business schedule do not afford me the time necessary to advance the Office where it needs to be.”

He went on to express frustration. “Despite my best efforts to collaborate and communicate effectively, the ongoing back and forth, coupled with the continued lack of cooperation and communication from the Kent Volunteer Fire Department, has made progress extremely challenging. The persistent obstacles and the inability to foster a collaborative environment have left me unable to execute the duties and responsibilities of this role effectively.”

He said he hoped his resignation would prove to be a “catalyst to enact changes needed to provide for the safety and wellbeing of the Kent community.”

First Selectman Marty Lindenmayer read the letter to his board during their June 26 meeting, saying the search for a new director would begin immediately. Selectman Lynn Mellis Worthington asked if Hunt had approached Lindenmayer to talk through his concerns and Lindenmayer said, “Not fully.”

The OEM office is located in the firehouse. He noted that there had a “gap,” when the office was not filled, and said “there were equipment issues” where items were borrowed and not returned. The coup de grace may have been “miscommunication about the cooling center,” during the recent heat wave, when Lindenmayer decided the center should be in the library, where there were amenities such as books and television, rather than the larger Town Hall assembly room.

“Maybe he thought I was usurping that,” Lindenmayer said, adding that Hunt talked about his frustration “toward the end.” The Senior Center was opened by OEM and CERT volunteers as a cooling center on Wednesday, June 19 and used by one family due to the library closure for the Juneteeth holiday.

For the present, the deputy EMDs are covering the position.

The position has no set office hours and the workload averages five to 10 hours per week. The successful applicant will report directly to the first selectman and must be able to be flexible during emergencies. He or she will supervise the deputy director(s), the CERT team leader and various volunteers.

Among the position’s responsibilities are formulating emergency management policies and procedures, creating an operating budget, planning, organizing and coordinating emergency responses, reviewing the public notification system and its procedures, and coordinating emergency communications among different agencies.

While it is not a paid position, many job-related expenses are covered.

Those interested should submit an application to Joyce Kearns at adminassist@townofkentct.org. Applications will be accepted up until 4 p.m. on July 17. Application forms can be accessed here

Kathryn Boughton
Written By

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Brian Hunt

    July 4, 2024 at 10:15 pm

    I would suggest verifying information before publishing a story. There are some untruths in this story. The concerns are not new and have plagued the town for many years.

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