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Escambia County administrator addresses recent turnover of top leadership positions

Escambia County administrator addresses recent turnover of top leadership positions

Escambia County is dealing with some turnover among its top leadership positions. Six people have been let go or put in a notice in the last year and a half, three within the past month.

In January, Patrick Grace was relieved as fire chief. Last week, Paul Henning was terminated as the medical director. On Tuesday, Tamyra Jarvis, the corrections director, put in her notice to retire.

The human resources director, facilities director, and public works director have also resigned from their positions recently. County Administrator Jack Brown said in half those cases, it is the natural progression.

"Some people have decided that they just want to retire and then you have others that, jobs are stressful and sometimes they're under duress," Brown said.

Brown said working for the county is a demanding job, but said Jarvis resigning has nothing to do with the reason Henning was fired.

However, her resignation comes right as one of the county's biggest and most expensive projects is getting underway. In August, the county decided on a contractor and design for the new jail. Brown said everything is still on track and does not expect any issues with Jarvis leaving.

"The planning process has been going on for years now," Brown said. "Staff has provided all their input."

He said the Jail Commander, Selina Barnes, is still in the position. Chairman Jeff Bergosh said they have plenty of backup with Jarvis leaving.

"She's only been with us a little over a year and when the selection board chose her, the number two selection is still with us," Bergosh said. "So my assumption is eventually that number two selection will move up into that spot."

Bergosh said he sees the recent turnover as a good thing because it gives others the opportunity to move up.

"There's a number of reasons why folks leave and probably good reasons," Bergosh said. "I'm not concerned. We treat people well. We pay them well."

Brown said they have positions to fill, but the work does not stop.

"The staff is working hard every day to do a good job and move the county forward," Brown said.

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