After a late-night executive session, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Chief Resilience Officer and Director of Fire and Emergency Services Landry Merkison as interim chief of staff.
The request came from Chief Operating Officer Detrick Stanford’s office. Stanford told The Clayton Crescent that Merkison was highly qualified for the position, which is effective immediately.
Merkison will get a 5% pay raise, bumping up his salary from $198,324 to $208,240, at a cost of $9,916.
Merkison, a Clayton County native and North Clayton High graduate, is completing a master’s degree in business and public administration, serves on the board of Southern Regional Medical Center, has revamped Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services’ fleet, secured a series of grants for the county, started an innovative high school firefighter training program that allows graduates to start immediately at Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, is working on mitigating Flint River flooding on Upper Riverdale Road, and has coordinated the county’s COVID-19 response, among other accomplishments.
In April, Merkison joined other municipal, county, and state leaders in thanking Senator Jon Ossoff for securing funding for much-needed upgrades to SRMC’s emergency mental health area:
He also put together CCFES’ Technical Services Division, “which would be responsible for leveraging innovative technology and analytics,” and has been “revamping the county’s EMS system to maximize long-term sustainability and excellence in patient care through a one-of-a-kind Mobile Integrated Health Care System,” according to his bio page.
Stanford said Merkison will continue as fire chief, adding that “He’s more than capable of handling both.”