Commissioners remove department supervisor

Moffat County Road and Bridge supervisor terminated after 18 years; Commissioners refuse to comment on decision

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BY RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
Dennis Jones has been removed as director of the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department. He was offered a severance package at Wednesday's Board of County Commissioners meeting, and Billy Mack is now acting supervisor of the Road and Bridge Department. Jones worked in the department for 18 years, serving as the supervisor since April of 1987.
A search for Jones' replacement has not yet been initiated.
During the meeting, which Jones choose to keep open to the public as opposed to entering into executive session, Deb Lowe questioned the decision.
"A lot of people feel strongly about [the decision to remove Jones]," Lowe said. "I feel there should be public input about this."
This was a decision that the county made about a personnel issue, and that type of decision does not require a public process.
"As the elective representatives of the public, we are the ones charged with managing the county infrastructure," Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson said. "We have the right to decide that we need to go in a different direction, with different leadership, that is in the best interest of Road and Bridge and Moffat County."
Like any corporation or business, the county needs to handle its employment issues, except for elected officials, outside of the public arena because of privacy and legal issues, Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said. "We are evaluating and implementing a new compensation plan, a performance evaluation system, and the organization and structure of our departments," Raftopoulos said.
All the commissioners declined further comment.
Jones is reviewing the severance package offered him, and will be consulting an attorney concerning his dismissal. That and some of the clauses in the agreement limited his comments, he said.
"I'm seeking an attorney's advice, and looking at my options," Jones said. "The Commissioners terminated me because I wasn't going in the direction they wanted for Road and Bridge management, that the previous administration had put in place."

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