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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Esway chosen for EMA
Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger says she has chosen a candidate for the position of Director of the Cocke County Emergency Management Agency. She will recommend James Esway of Strawberry Plains to the Cocke County Legislative Body. "He was a career Marine with his specialty being a disaster preparedness officer, so he has lots of experience with disaster organizing and getting alot of people together," Ottinger said of Esway. The mayor said the candidate meets all the qualifications of the state for an EMA director. She said there were few applications from Cocke County residents and they did not meet the requirements. The position pays an annual salary of $33,488 which the mayor said is very low considering the qualifications that are required. Ottinger said Esway is not happy with the current level of salary, and she pointed out that neither was former EMA Director Kevin Benton who recently left the post for a FEMA position. "It's very hard because of the state requirements of either a bachelor degree or lots of experience, and pay them the salary that we offer. Most of the applicants were looking for a salary in the low to mid $40,000 range," the mayor said. She said Esway will accept the current salary initially but she will ask the county legislative body to increase the pay in the next budget year. In addition to Emergency Management responsibilities, the director supervises river officers on the Pigeon River during the rafting season.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

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