By Marcy Stamper
Maurice Goodall takes over as the county’s new emergency manager on Wednesday (April 1). Goodall retired this week after more than 25 years as a trooper with the Washington State Patrol (WSP). He has also been the volunteer grounds manager for the Okanogan County Fairgrounds over the past several years.
Goodall knows Okanogan County and has hands-on knowledge in dealing with different types of emergencies, said Okanogan County Commissioner Ray Campbell. The county commissioners and mayors of Twisp, Omak and Oroville all participated on the hiring committee and interviewed a total of four applicants. “We all came to the same conclusion,” said Campbell.
Campbell called Goodall “very energetic and well qualified” and said he is skilled at working with people. “He knows what to do at the right time and place,” said Campbell.
While the county has reorganized its approach to emergency management, switching oversight from the Sheriff’s Department to the county commissioners, the emergency manager’s primary responsibilities will remain the same, said Campbell.
The emergency manager will have increased focus on preparedness for emergencies and prioritization in light of last year’s wildfires, said Campbell. The emergency manager also works closely with cities and towns.
In addition to his volunteer work managing the fairgrounds, Goodall served on the Okanogan County parks and recreation board, which managed the fair until a reorganization last year.
After serving on the board for two years, Goodall resigned in 2013, expressing concerns about fair operations and about the financial condition of the fair, according to minutes of the county commissioners’ meeting where he submitted his resignation. At the meeting, Commissioner Jim DeTro commended Goodall for his role in helping the fair become financially solvent.
Goodall received the WSP’s highest award for heroism, the award of honor, in 1995 for his efforts in rescuing a 12-year-old from drowning.