E-911 Board holds first meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

LINDEN &8212; A &8220;new beginning&8221; was the reoccurring term used to describe the first meeting of the newly elected E-911 board Tuesday night.

The meeting began with Marengo County Commission Chairman John Crawford offering his thanks to the new members for taking their nominations. All seven of the appointed members were present at the meeting.

The first order of business was to elect a chairman, vice chairman and secretary. After a group vote, the board decided on Sylvan Mutschler, who formerly worked as the county EMA director, as the chairman. Bruce Baker, fire chief in Dixons Mills was voted the vice chairman and Caroline Rogers from Sweet Water was voted secretary.

Tom Boggs, who helped to legally set up the first E-911 board in 1994, spoke to the group about the process of organization. He suggested the board consider having an independent audit be done by the state, in order to &8220;start with a clean slate.&8221;

As their first action, the board voted to have an audit done by the state to establish the financial standing of the funds for E-911. Their second action was to ask for information to be prepared about the needs of the E-911 service.

Lisa Mangum, who is the executive director for Marengo County E-911, was present at the meeting. She said she had a &8220;positive feeling&8221; about the new board.

When asked about what her priorities would be for the service, Mangum said the foremost thing she&8217;d like to discuss with the board is the need for a new ANI-ALI system, which is a telecommunications locator that provides names, addresses and information on each call sent to E-911.

Her second priority for E-911 is to address the E-911 addressing vehicle. Mangum said since June, they have had to spend nearly $5,000 in towing costs for all the times the vehicle has broken down somewhere in the county.

These considerations and others will be on the priority list for the board to discuss at their next meeting on Jan. 17, Mutschler said.

Mike Carlisle, who previously served on the board, said the next meeting will be a chance to &8220;really get into the mechanics&8221; of the E-911 service.

Mutschler further said this board was the best representation for E-911, both in the members&8217; willingness to participate and also in their level of representation from first responders experience. He said he hopes in the future they will be able to gain more input from other agencies, such as law enforcement, and from the residents as to the needs of the service.