Workers express surprise at Management Director's dismissal

May 10, 2012

Workers in the Office of Emergency Management for Boone County are expressing surprise about the elimination of its Management Director position.

Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes announced that the position of Office of Emergency Management Director, previously held by Zim Schwartze, was no longer viable. Joe Piper is the Administrative Services Manager in the office. He says the decision was made to save city money coming from employee salary and benefits. Still, Piper says the elimination makes his and his co-workers jobs more difficult.

“I feel overwhelmed. I’m still grappling with it a little bit. I’m still a little in shock by it. I think our folks in the communication center are still in shock about it. The morale in the room is not at its best.”

Piper says he and his co-workers will now work to complete the projects Schwartze left. Piper says she was working on presentations to update the Emergency Operations Plan. It is a large project, and Piper will now have to do most of it himself.