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WARREN – Trumbull County 911 Center needs more dispatchers to cut overtime costs, interim manager says, and a position held by a relative of a commissioner is in question, prompting a complaint of the employee.

One option being considered is to remove the post of Special Needs Register coordinator or have the post fully funded by county commissioners, in order to free up 911 funds to hire more dispatchers, said Patty Goldner, acting director.

“When I took on this role, I was tasked with examining the skills and inefficiencies within our agency. I presented to the (Trumbull County Commissioners) my financial situation and showed them where there was a potential savings opportunity for us ”, Goldner said.

Although the center is allowed to have 35 dispatchers, the budget leaves room to pay only 30, forcing the center to rack up overtime costs, Goldner said. A public record request has been made for the cost of overtime, but has not yet been satisfied.

The budget is made up of three sources, with approximately $ 417,000 coming from wireless phone charges, $ 1.826 million from the general fund and $ 1.118 million from fees paid by political subdivisions.

“(Trumbull) 911 did not create this position, it reports to the commissioners. So I gave them the raw data of what this program produced. If it meets their needs and fulfills their intentions with the station, then by all means it is greeted within 911 limits, entering that data into our system. But I’m asking the commissioners for funding, full funding of (the post), then. Because I have a shortage of dispatchers and the mission of 911 is to dispatch calls for the citizens of the county and for the departments for which we dispatch ”, Goldner said after a county commissioner’s meeting on Wednesday.

The post is held by Mauro DiVieste, who is also the cousin of County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa. Cantalamessa, first appointed commissioner in 2014, has withdrawn from the discussion involving DiVieste.

DiVieste filed a complaint with the Trumbull County Human Resources Office on Friday over discussions about the need for the position.

At a recent meeting of county commissioners, Commissioner Niki Frenchko raised the issue. She said dispatchers could enter special needs data when performing their other duties and the volume of new submissions is not high enough to justify the position.

In 2017, the registry recorded 51 new alerts; in 2018, 105 alerts; in 2019, 96 alerts; in 2020, 37 alerts; and in 2021, as of July 6, 11 new alerts, according to information provided by Goldner to the commissioners.

The Special Needs Register Coordinator is responsible for managing and recording entries in the Special Needs Register. The registry allows citizens with special needs to provide information to emergency response agencies, so that first responders can better plan to serve them in an emergency.

The position was created in 2017, and DiVieste was appointed to the position on April 13, 2017, paid $ 17.88 per hour as of 2019. Prior to that, he worked as a clerk in the Trumbull County Treasurer’s Office until 2015, then as a planner. for the Trumbull County Planning Commission before the position to 911. He has worked in the county for 23 years.

Dispatchers start at $ 13.40 an hour, with no prior county experience.

DiVieste’s complaint says he does more than enter data. He promotes the program by attending events for the elderly and disabled, sending letters and making home visits to citizens who need help registering for the registry.

The complaint says it is apparently Frenchko’s “next victim”.

“She tried to downplay my position, publicly stating that the rest of the staff could absorb my tasks. However, this is not the case, “ his complaint says.

Distributors are “glue” at their chairs during their shifts and unable to defend the agenda, making the job “relevant,” DiVieste states.

COVID-19 has made it difficult to defend the program in person in 2020 and 2021, but DiVieste says he still does so on social media and by phone.

The complaint says a family member of DiVieste has autism, which motivates his passion to help the disability community, and that keeping the job is important for the well-being of people with disabilities and seniors in the county. from Trumbull.

DiVieste says he believes Frenchko “Sparked public humiliation of (his) work for his own political agenda”, and that he’s being harassed about the issue online.

However, Frenchko maintains that the post is only being revised for budgetary reasons.

“I only spoke about what Patty Goldner suggested. We asked him to find ways to provide better service, reduce overtime and save money ”, Frenchko said.

Frenchko and Cantalamessa have faced each other in recent months, often arguing in their meetings.

Goldner said she was not asking commissioners to get rid of DiVieste.

“I am not in any way trying to abolish anyone’s position. If this position meets their needs, then I ask that they fund it fully ”, Goldner said. “I am short of staff at the moment. “

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