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Court Accepts Resignation of Office of Emergency Services Director, Appoints Interim Director

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX (July 24, 2019) – On Tuesday the Hays County Commissioners Court formally accepted the resignation of Office of Emergency Services Director Kharley Bagley Smith, effective July 31, and appointed Assistant Director Justin McInnis as interim director beginning August 1.

Smith resigned to accept a newly created position with the State Division of Emergency Management, where she will lead a statewide Disaster Recovery Task Force.

“I’m honored to be offered this new position,” Smith said, “but I will miss all the talented, hard-working first responders, emergency personnel, and elected officials with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. I’m thankful for the cooperation that exists in emergency management throughout our county – that’s not something you find everywhere, but it is critical to successful emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.  The County works as a team member with cities, emergency services districts, and non-profits for the benefit of our citizens.”

Commissioners Court members each thanked Smith for her dedication and recalled instances in which her training and experience served the county’s residents well.

“The State of Texas made a very, very good choice,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said, “Ms. Smith has done an incredible job. I’m sorry to see her go but am extremely proud of her. She’ll be an amazing asset to the State of Texas,” and referenced specifically her coordination of response and recovery during the 2015 Memorial Weekend flood.

Smith was appointed Emergency Management Coordinator in November 2012 and was named Director of the Office of Emergency Services in April 2016. She has coordinated response and recovery efforts for the October 2013 flood and two horrific floods in 2015, along with numerous less well-publicized emergencies ranging from wildfires to gas leaks.

Smith and her team have received numerous awards, most recently the 2019 Emergency Management Association of Texas’ Excellence in Emergency Management Award for the County’s “superb emergency management program.”

Smith joined Hays County in 2001 as an Emergency Communications Officer in the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center, and before that worked at Texas State University Police Department’s Dispatch Center while obtaining a degree in Public Administration. She also served the County as the Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator for the Local Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Office before being named Emergency Management Coordinator.

In making the motion to appoint Justin McInnis as Interim Director, Commissioner Shell said McInnis is extremely qualified and has proven himself to be very capable. McInnis joined the County as the Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator in 2016 and was named Assistant Director in 2018. He previously worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a Hydrographer.

Hays County