Elections board jobs in question

Director, deputy pressed to define their roles

3/15/2013
BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler
Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler

The chairman of the Lucas County Board of Elections said Wednesday he will introduce a resolution next week giving the board’s director and deputy director a month to develop their own job descriptions.

Otherwise, chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said, both of them could be out of a job.

“I told the director and the deputy director to come to the board five days before the April meeting with mutually agreed job descriptions. If they can’t come together, then maybe they need to be replaced,” said Mr. Rothenbuhler, a Democrat.

Director Meghan Gallagher
Director Meghan Gallagher

He appeared with Republican elections board member Jon Stainbrook Wednesday for a briefing with The Blade’s editorial board. The two chair their county political parties and serve on the four-member elections board.

Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis
Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis

A task force appointed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted advised the elections board Feb. 25 to fire Republican Director Meghan Gallagher and Democratic Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis because of ongoing management shortcomings in the office. But Mr. Rothenbuhler and Mr. Stainbrook said that would not solve the board’s problems.

Mr. Stainbrook said he would support the resolution, but left up in the air whether he would support the final job descriptions that Ms. Gallagher and Mr. DeAngelis develop.

The board is to meet Tuesday.

Coming up with an organizational chart was one of the requirements set by Mr. Husted when he released the board last month from a six-month period of direct oversight, with conditions.

Last year, the board deadlocked 2-2 along party lines on a proposed organization chart, with Democrats wanting the director and deputy director to function as equals — a plan Republicans opposed.

Republicans contended that equal power at the director level would put them at a disadvantage because the Democratic chairman has the power to set the agenda.

Mr. Husted took over control of the elections board Aug. 13 when it missed a 15-day deadline he set for its members to agree on “that basic task” of approving a new organizational chart. He released the board from oversight Feb. 25, but left in place a series of deadlines to develop new board policies.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.