The director of Gage County Tourism is leaving her position to take on a new role as the Gage County Emergency Management director.

The Gage County Board of Supervisors approved hiring Lisa Wiegand for the position 6-1 on Wednesday.

Wiegand accepted the tourism director position late last year after an extensive history with Gage County Planning and Zoning.

Wiegand said she’s excited for the opportunity, and no start date was given.

“I love Gage County,” she said. “This is home and this was an opportunity to make myself a better person.”

While the board is not initially changing the position, it was discussed that the Gage County Emergency Management position may also work with planning and zoning issues as needed to take advantage of her knowledge related to zoning.

“What I would like to see, and it may take a little more discussion, would still be an emergency manager and a Planning and Zoning administrator,” said board member Erich Tiemann. “Both jobs are going to fluctuate as far as how much time’s necessary. There’s going to be times when the emergency manager needs help and times when the Planning and Zoning needs help.”

The Emergency Management director assists emergency services in planning for operations during disasters, serves as liaison between emergency operations agencies and county-city executives and is responsible for updates to the Local Emergency Operations Plan.

The position is also responsible for maintaining the Emergency Operations Center, development and maintenance of the hazard warning system throughout Gage County, training severe weather spotters and coordinating storm watch operations.

Timothy Stutzman announced in early July that he was resigning as the county’s Emergency Management director. Stutzman was previously the Emergency Management director in Nuckolls County, and was one of eight finalists interviewed for the position.

The County Board considered eight applicants for the position. Wiegand and Josh Niles, of Clatonia, were deemed finalists and had a final interview with the County Board, as well as Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake and a rescue worker from Filley.

The annual salary for the position is $42,000, plus benefits.

Matt Bauman, who cast the lone vote in opposition to hiring Wiegand, said he favored Niles for his history with rescue departments and military service.

“With my experience in two rural fire departments, I’m a volunteer in Pickrell and Beatrice, we’ve seen when you don’t have that relationship with those first responders,” he said. “I think that Josh’s experience with Clatonia Rural Fire and his experience in the military, his knowledge in communications is a good fit.”

Board member Dennis Byars voiced strong support for Wiegand, based largely on her history in Gage County.

“I’ve known Lisa most of her life," he said. "Her experience in Gage County has been very positive. One of the advantages she has is that she knows the people of Gage County. She knows Gage County. She has an excellent reputation and I think would be accepted by the community. I would recommend Lisa very strongly.”

It was stated at the meeting that Wiegand will attend a certification class in early October before beginning her new role.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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