Culver takes staff departures in stride: ‘Life goes on’

A few days after three key employees walked away from their positions, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver said Monday that operations are running smoothly and “life goes on.”

Sharon Morris, assistant director of administration who had been with the county 29 years; Andy Wisk, acting director of Recreation and Parks; and Rick Konrad, purchasing agent, all left county employment the end of last week.

Culver’s office issued news releases stating Morris retired Thursday and Wisk left to work for the United States Specialty Sports Association.

Culver, however, didn’t distribute a release concerning Konrad’s employment, but told Salisbury Independent the employee “decided to go.”

Konrad said Monday he was “proud to serve the county as purchasing agent for the last three years and as an employee for a total of 10 years.”

“My position was an appointment, working directly for the County Executive, and it is his right to put his own team together,” Konrad said.

“Knowing this, I have been actively seeking other opportunities since January and continue to do so. I wish my colleagues good luck and will miss them a great deal but I also look forward to moving on,” he said.

Culver denied widespread  rumors that Morris had stormed out of the county office last week, quitting on the spot.

“No, she had thought about retirement,” Culver said. “We were all talking that morning and she just said, ‘It’s time to go.’ We kind of knew. She had thought about retirement.

“We’ll miss her,” Culver said. “She and Matt Creamer and a couple people in the Finance Department were here a long time and knew the history. She will be missed by everybody.”

Morris offered to give the county a 60-day notice, Culver said, but the County Executive said he believes when somebody feels it’s time to go, he or she should make a clean break.

Wisk was in the running to become the permanent Parks and Rec director and his appointment was rumored to have been under County Council consideration.

Culver called Wisk’s position with the USSSA  “a great opportunity for him.”

He said Wisk will be able to remain in Salisbury, “so we will still get to tap him for some questions if we need to.”

Talk swirled in Salisbury over the weekend that Maureen Lanigan, the deputy County Attorney whose boss retired in July, had also resigned, but Culver confirmed she is still with the county.

Other county employees will assume Morris’, Wisk’s and Konrad’s duties, Culver said.

The executive said that, when he was elected, he implemented cross-training, so more than one person can handle a particular job.

“We’ve always had people in place. One of the big things my government has always been strong on is succession planning,” he said.

Dawn Luchaco of the purchasing department will fill in for Konrad. “She’s subbed as purchasing agent in the past and she is doing a real good job,” Culver said.

Pam Oland, a Parks Department manager, will assume Wisk’s position at Recreation and Parks; Culver and Strausburg will cover for Morris, Culver said.

Recommendations to formally make Luchaco’s and Oland’s roles into acting positions will go before the County Council at a future meeting, he said.

“I am appreciative of the service rendered by Mrs. Morris to the citizens of Wicomico County and wish her well in retirement. I’m very happy and excited for everybody who wanted to retire or leave. That’s the way business works,” Culver said.

“We’ll miss her knowledge but we’re all in good shape. We have a great staff here. We’re fine. Life goes on.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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