By Anita Miller
A week after promoting Mike Jones to director of Emergency Services and announcing the hire of Nathan Mendenhall as fire marshal, Hays County commissioners promoted Laurie Taylor to the position of emergency services planner.
Taylor has been employed by the county for five years, first as an Admin I and then Admin III/Office Manager. She will be responsible for collaborating with the Emergency Management Commission on unmet needs for municipalities, carrying out tasks related to disaster recovery, attending meetings and assisting in coordination with local planning and emergency operations management. She will also write grants and coordinate the county’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Jones served as emergency services director from May 16 to July 15. Prior to that, he had been emergency preparedness coordinator and has been a county employee for seven years.
In his new position, Jones will help develop and implement policies, conduct risk analysis, develop and maintain emergency action and mitigation action plans and conduct training. The Office of Emergency Services is an umbrella that oversees the county’s emergency management, fire marshal and homeland security operations. His promotion was effective immediately.
Mendenhall, who will report to work Aug. 10, is currently a part-time deputy fire marshal in Guadalupe County and also works part-time as a fire protection code analyst for Protection Development Inc. Previously, he was a division chief or the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Mendenhall will report to Jones, who reports to Alex Villalobos, who in addition to the county’s chief of staff (and Democratic candidate for sheriff), serves as Emergency Management Coordinator. County Judge Ruben Becerra is the designated Emergency Management Director. COVID-19 responses also fall under the emergency umbrella.