Glacier County Commission Chair Michael DesRosier congratulated Lanaina Upham on being named head of the county’s Department of Emergency Services (DES). DesRosier was joined by Commissioners John Overcast and Tom McKay in offering their encouragement to Ms. Upham on her new position. 

Lanaina Upham is Glacier County’s new Disaster and Emergency Services Director. The Glacier County Commissioners approved hiring Upham at their April 23 meeting in Browning. 

“After Charles Farmer retired I started to search [for a new director] immediately with a regional ad,” stated Human Resources Director Mike Kittson said. “There weren’t as many candidates as I’d hoped, but some of them were really impressive with different backgrounds. In the end, the top vote getter and the one I have the most confidence in is Lanaina Upham,” he said in recommending Upham for the job. Upham has 15 years experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. 

“She has impressive credentials and training. Coordinating is her strong suit with state and federal agencies. Because of her all around expertise and her interview and personal talks, she is absolutely the best candidate for coordinator,” added Kittson.

Noting her position is “mostly grant funded,” Kittson said she would be employed at $25 per hour, with a probationary period and reviews at six months and one year. 

Farmer’s hourly wage was $33.43 per hour, but he also performed other duties for the county, such as Safety Officer.

Also during last week’s meeting, the Commissioners approved offering the “RM2000” Montana Association of Counties (MACo) medical only insurance plan to employees. The County will pay the $845 month per employee premium. 

At their discretion, employees may choose another plan and/or add vision and dental at their own expense.

The figure of $845 marks a drop from $872 last year, a savings to the county of $28 per employee. Last year’s plan, however, included dental and vision benefits.

Commission Chairman Michael DesRosier noted the MACo plan includes “preventive things that we’re not paying extra for,” and the need to provide “stability for our employees.”

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