The Washington City Council Monday adopted two measures following up on the appointment of the city’s new emergency management director.
Mark Skornia was tapped last month to fill the role of emergency preparedness director vacated by Bill Halmich, Washington fire chief, who retired earlier this year. Skornia, 60, will begin the new position Aug. 14.
The council approved an ordinance that repeals and replaces a previous code establishing the emergency preparedness director.
According to City Administrator Darren Lamb, the city is establishing an emergency management board comprised of department heads who will review safety items and address training. A resolution also was approved that officially appoints Skornia to the position.
Lamb stated if the emergency management director is unavailable, then the fire chief is in command, followed by the police chief and then the city administrator.
A portion of the salary will continue to be paid by the State Emergency Management Agency. An ordinance is no longer required to set the salary of the emergency management director, instead it will be set like other department heads. Skornia’s salary will be $49,000 when he begins next week.
Skornia has been with the Washington Fire Department since 1980. He has been assistant fire chief for 20 years.
Skornia holds an associate degree in law enforcement from East Central College. He has years of firefighting training, including certifications through the University of Missouri in fire safety, firefighter I and II training and certification, officer level II, instructor level II and officer level II certifications.
Skornia also has many years of emergency management experience while working with Halmich.
He has worked at Strubberg Hardware, Union, in some capacity since 1968 when he was in sixth grade.
When he begins his new position, Skornia will leave the hardware store and his primary focus will be emergency preparedness. He also recently retired as assistant fire chief to make room for younger firefighters.
Skornia was born and raised in Union. He and his wife, Jane, have lived in Washington, her hometown, since they married. The couple have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Skornia serves as Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Council president.