Interim Veterans Services director appointed for SLO County

San Luis Obispo County has appointed an interim director of the Veterans Services Office.

The county announced Tuesday that U.S. Navy Cmdr. Paul Porter was appointed to the position on Oct. 8, after the previous Veterans Services Officer Dana Cummings resigned in September. Porter will fill the position until a fulltime director can be found.

The office has nine fulltime staff members and a budget of $500,000.

Porter served in the Navy for 23 years as both an active duty and reserve officer. At the same time, he has worked in the county’s Information Technology Department for 18 years.

In 2009 he took a 14-month leave of absence from the county because he was recalled to active duty in Iraq. At the Information Technology Department, he oversees the department’s network, server and communications teams as well as the data center and service desk.

“Paul’s experience both through his military background and as a longtime county employee will help ensure that we are providing world-class service to the veterans of our community,” said Guy Savage, assistant county administrative officer.

Porter will spend as much time as possible at the Veterans Services Office while still continuing to work part time as the infrastructure manager at the IT department. He will continue to be paid his current annual salary of $114,000 plus benefits, with no increase for the added responsibility, said Dan Buckshi, the county’s chief administrative officer.

“Essentially, he’s doing both jobs,” Buckshi said.

Buckshi said he hopes to have a permanent director chosen by the end of the year.