“Well, I guess I need to make a phone call,” she commented via email after hearing what happened at the meeting Monday night.
Initially, selectmen planned to make deputy EMA directors Michael Dwyer and Ben Jennell the interim directors until the board could speak with Berkenbush. However, when Public Works director Gary Bill informed them that Delp was currently working on a Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement for the town that likely wouldn’t be completed until the end of the month, the board agreed to keep her as EMA director in an interim capacity until July 1. Kemper stressed that it was critical that the transition of authority from Delp to someone else be as smooth as possible.
The board held off on taking any action on appointing an Emergency Response coordinator, a post Delp currently holds; and they took no further action on the appointment of “Lee Ann Delp, EMA” as a special police officer, a post they filled earlier this month, prior to her resignation.
Delp called her decision to leave the dispatch department a hard one. “I have been dedicated to the town of West Newbury in one fashion or the other since 1986. I will miss interaction with the townspeople on a daily basis.” She said income, advancement and opportunity for future growth with Essex RECC were factors in her decision.
Delp, who strongly opposed a plan to regionalize dispatch services in West Newbury a few years ago, declined to substantially weigh in on the possibility of the town joining the regional center in Middleton now that she has taken a job there.
Noting that 911 calls are only a small portion of what a dispatcher in West Newbury does, Delp said any move to regionalize services would require “an in-depth plan for all of the other duties beyond the 911 calls.”