BY MICHAEL WALTON
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County's emergency management coordinator is retiring from his post after more than 30 years as a county employee.
Daniel Scott officially retired on Jan. 4 due to a son's health problems and a desire to spend more time with his family.
"I thought, you know, life is too short," he said. "I am 65 years old."
Scott started at Grand Traverse County as a sheriff's deputy in 1974. He later served as a sergeant, then as director of central dispatch services.
Scott became the county's emergency management coordinator in 1995. His first on-the-job test started that year when a tire fire at a retreading shop in Grawn burned for 23 days straight.
He retired from the county in 2000 but returned to his old post in 2008 for what he thought would be a one-year period. He ended up staying for closer to five years.
Scott said he'll miss working for the county and with other county employees.
"Great folks, great job," he said.
The county's emergency management department dealt with three notable emergencies in 2012: the March snowstorm, a brush fire behind Leonardo's Tree Service that burned for several days, and the Boardman River flood.
Scott said his staff and other regional emergency personnel performed well in each instance.
"Everybody performed flawlessly," Scott said. "I was only there as a resource. If somebody needed a widget, I found it."
Grand Traverse County Health Officer Wendy Trute said she'll handle emergency management duties until the county hires a replacement for Scott.
Jen Semen, county human resources director, said a posting for the position closed Friday. Eighty six individuals applied.
Semen said she will narrow down the list of applicants before she, Trute and county Administrator Dave Benda interview a group of finalists.
The starting salary for the job is about $47,000.
Meanwhile, Scott plans to start his retirement with a trip to Florida later this week.
"I'm going to get my golf game back in shape," Scott said.