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SLO County hires interim Veterans Services Officer 

The county of San Luis Obispo has formally opened the hiring process for someone to head the Veterans Services Department. The position, called the veterans services officer (VSO), would be charged with running a department that provides a variety of services to military veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families.

The job posting on the county’s website said that “the ideal candidate will be a U.S. military veteran with a combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college with a major in public administration, business administration, social science, or a closely related field.” 

The position is vacant after former VSO Dana Cummings, who ran the department starting in 2011, resigned in September.

The position will pay a salary between $72,259 and $87,838 annually, according to the county’s website.

On Oct. 20, county officials announced that U.S. Navy Cmdr. Paul Porter will serve as the department’s interim director. Porter has served on active duty and in the reserves for the U.S. Navy for 23 years. Porter has also worked in the county’s Information Technology Department for 18 years, where he is currently a manager.

Porter told New Times that he has not yet decided if he’d pursue the permanent post as VSO.

“I really haven’t even thought about it at this point. I just newly stepped into this position, and I’m trying to learn about all the different things that this office does,” Porter said.

In the meantime, however, Porter is happy to take on the roll as the county finds someone to fill the position permanently.

“On a personal level, the satisfaction of being able to give back and being able to support my fellow veterans is very important to me,” Porter said.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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