CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County government continues to lose long-term employees.
On Aug. 25, the Banner learned that Detention Center Director Joseph Hughes had stepped down. Acting County Manager Donna Lane, responding to a request for confirmation from the Banner, Ms. Lane wrote, “Joseph Hughes has resigned.”
On Sept. 1, the Banner learned that Vicki Simmons had left her job in the Finance Office. Ms. Simmons had more than 30 years experience.
Also on Sept. 1, the Banner learned that the Detention Center had lost another staff member.
The Banner asked Acting County Manager Donna Lane for confirmation of the two resignations, and did not receive a response. The Banner also asked Council President Jay Newcomb the following questions on Sept. 1: “Would you like to comment, for publication, on these and the other departures in recent months? Specifically, what is causing so many losses, and how will the jobs be filled? How much will these losses affect the county government? Some positions have not been filled in months. Why is that?”
The resignations join many others over the last two years, beginning with County Manager Jeremy Goldman, who was terminated at the County Council’s Dec. 18, 2018 meeting after a 3-2 vote. The meeting was the first of the current council’s tenure.
In January of 2019, the county had a vacancy at the helm of Planning and Zoning after Steve Dodd retired, and at Economic Development after Director Jeff Trice was terminated.
On Feb. 28, 2019, Airport Manager Amber Hulsey resigned, to be replaced by Meighan K. Chisholm Sr., who was returning for a second time in the post. Mr. Chisholm stepped down once again, to be replaced by the current Director Steve Nuwer.
Mr. Goldman’s replacement as county manager was Keith Adkins, whose last day on the job was Dec. 21, 2020. He had taken over in December of 2018. The county has not hired a permanent replacement.
An Emegency Medical Services manager who had been on the job for one week quit on Jan. 14, 2021.
On Feb. 2, 2021, the council accepted the resignation of Frank Stout, who had led Recreation & Parks.
In February of 2019, Emergency Medical Services Director Anna Sierra resigned, as did EMS Supervisor Andy Robinson.
In March 2019, also at Emergency Medical Services, Shift Supervisor Kathy Jo Marvel resigned, as did Lt. Michael Dempsey, Special Operations Chief Greg Fries and Lt. Dan Elbing.
On March 4, 2021, Department of Emergency Services Planner Steve Garvin stepped down.
In a council meeting in March during which departures were discussed, Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) was asked by a member of the public if the resignations were concerning. There had been rumblings at the time, which continue, that the work environment in county government had become difficult.
Council Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) said, “Absolutely, it does concern us. It does give us a large number of vacancies.” Saying first that he did not know the reasons why the individuals had left, Mr. Pfeffer continued, “Actually, I know a couple who resigned and who have nothing to do with politics.”