County commissioners dismiss Thiesen as EMS director

Darryl Thiesen was dismissed as the county’s Emergency Medical Services director Monday by the Marion County Commission after executive sessions both with and without him.

Commissioner Randy Dallke informed Thiesen when the action was announced that Sheriff Lee Becker or one of his officers would escort him back to the EMS department to collect his possessions.

Another discussion with the architect of a new community corrections center that probably will appear on the April election ballot was sandwiched between the closed-door discussions about Thiesen.

Dallke made the motion to terminate Thiesen, saying, “We no longer need the services of Darryl Thiesen as ambulance director.”

Commissioners Bob Hein and Dan Holub joined him to make the decision 3-0.

Thiesen already had spent months on probation with the commissioners regarding his job.

With some emotion in his voice, Thiesen informed the commissioners he would be able to collect all of his property from the office in just a short time with an officer. He said he had a desk he used that he had “custom built” himself that would have to be disassembled to move.

In reply to a suggestion from Dallke that a county maintenance employee be sent over to help him remove the desk, Thiesen said he would allow nobody but himself to do the job.

Dallke said a county trailer or truck from road and bridge still would be made available to help Thiesen haul his desk home.

Thiesen said he had also built units in the EMS office that hold the radios-with his own lumber and time-and that he would be removing the units also.

The commissioners said that would be fine as long as he was accompanied by an officer.

Thiesen was reached at his home at Goessel Monday night, and asked if he had any comment on his dismissal.

Thiesen said he didn’t have much to say under current conditions except that “what I did was right, and I am feeling really good about myself.”

Thiesen said, “I don’t think that the commissioners were right, and I stand by my morals that what I did was right. I don’t feel like I should compromise my integrity, and I am not going to be a ‘yes’ man.”

Asked if he wanted to explain what was meant by those remarks, Thiesen said that the people who needed to know would know. He said he didn’t want to explain further at this time.

Eileen Sieger, chairwoman of the Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission, appeared before commissioners with Planning and Zoning Director Bobbi Strait to announce that she is quitting her position after 15 years, dating back to 1992 when county zoning first developed.

Sieger said she wanted everyone to know that the work she did, and the decisions she made were solely motivated by a wish for betterment of Marion County.

Hein told Sieger, “We thank you for your service.”

Dallke added, “Nobody was more dedicated than you for those 15 years. We thank you for all of your time of voluntary service.”

In regards to the community corrections center, Dan Hall of BG Consultants in Manhattan brought in drawings showing all the rooms for both floors of a facility that would house a county court complex, county attorney’s office, sheriff’s office, dispatch center and jail facilities.

He said it included everything county department heads and commissioners wanted to see in a new facility probably to be located in the Marion industrial park.

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