County fills two key positions

By Anita Miller

Two positions for the county were filled by the Commissioners Court Tuesday. The Chief of Emergency Services was officially appointed and a new fire marshal was hired.

Mike Jones had served as director of emergency services in an interim capacity May 16 through July 15, but was officially hired as chief of emergency services. Nathan Mendenhall was hired as the county’s fire marshal, replacing Gib Watt, who had served as interim since May 16.

“I’m so grateful Mr. Jones has applied for this position,” County Judge Ruben Becerra said as the appointments were announced, noting that Jones had “well served” the community. “I personally know him as a community leader,” Becerra said, mentioning Jones’ “can-do” attitude. “We will be greatly served with his leadership.

Of the new fire marshal, Becerra said the appointment will be for two years and will be effective Aug. 10.

“We had a lot of applicants for this position and I am grateful we have such a highly qualified individual to join our ranks.”

“We are in a very big need for this position. The whole department has been anemic and we are greatly served we have moved to fill this position,” he said.

After being sworn in social-distance style, Jones said it was “humbling and an honor to accept this position.” He also said he was “looking forward to what the new fire marshal will bring.”

Mendenhall reports to Jones, who reports to Emergency Management Coordinator Alex Villalobos (who is also the county’s chief of staff and the Democratic nominee for sheriff), who reports to Becerra as director of Emergency Management.

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