Pasco's emergency management director resigns
Pasco County will confront future natural disasters with a new person managing the emergency response.
Annette Doying, Pasco’s emergency management director, submitted her resignation Monday, effective Jan. 1. Doying, said she hoped to stay with county government and has applied for a position in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.
Doying, 52, joined Pasco County in 2005 as homeland security coordinator and assumed the director’s position following the July 2011 retirement of her predecessor, James D. Martin. She is out of the office this week and unavailable for comment.
In an e-mail to community members, Doying said, in part, “I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with you over the past several years. Your capabilities, compassion and dedication are apparent.’’
She said the experiences of Tropical Storm Debby in 2012, the response to this summer’s flooding, and training at the federal Emergency Management Institute “have all played a powerful role in informing us on what is needed to be a premier Emergency Operations Center team.’’
Improvements she did not specify are being identified at in the county’s emergency operations and “you will certainly be asked to participate in the implementation of these improvements.’’
Doying’s announced departure comes a week after Commissioner Kathryn Starkey and County Administrator Michele Baker met with volunteers and representatives of the United Way of Pasco and the American Red Cross for a critique of the county’s emergency response during the summer floods. Heavy rains, including 40 inches in Elfers, drenched west Pasco in July and August, destroying 46 homes and damaging 300 more.
“It was to have a constructive discussion around, in my opinion, having a better response to our citizens needs in the event there is an emergency,’’ Starkey said Monday. “I felt we were a little reactive and not proactive. I heard rumblings in the community that we had not used our community resources as well as we could have.’’
Starkey, for instance, thought officials should have been quicker about contacting residents directly. She said she and Commissioner Jack Mariano delivered bottled water to citizens who said they were unaware of a health advisory to boil their water.
Doying’s parting email also included a warning about the potential for severe weather from the El Nino weather pattern predicted for the coming winter months. She included a National Weather Service briefing on the predicted heavy rainfall and intense tornado activity for January to April.
Doying’s boss recently resigned as well. Randy TeBeest, assistant county administrator overseeing the county’s Fire Rescue division, Office of Emergency Management and Public Safety Communications, is relocating to be closer to family members in Maryland. He joined the county 21 months ago.