XENIA —The Greene County Board of Elections finally has its new director.
Llyn McCoy was appointed to that post at a combination regular/special session on Tuesday and will assume duties March 24 after taking the oath of office. Her appointment ends several weeks of doubt over who would take over as director during a state-mandated reorganization.
Nancy Johannes, who has been director since 2011, and McCoy, deputy director since 2004, were both nominated. The board was unable to reach a majority decision at its last two meetings and, per state requirements, had sent the matter to Secretary of State Jon Husted for a final vote.
However, after Johannes informed the board of her intention to retire this September, the board reopened its effort Tuesday to decide the issue locally.
At the previous two meetings, ballots were split between parties as Republican board members Brian Lampton and Brenda Lewis voted for Johannes, while Democrats Anne Gerard and Doris Adams voted for McCoy.
On Tuesday Lampton switched his vote. He declined to comment as to why.
In a separate vote on Tuesday, Johannes was named deputy director until her retirement. Board members voted 2-2 on naming her deputy, but after a brief executive session, re-voted 3-1 with Adams the only no vote.
“I’m excited at the opportunity to be director,” McCoy said. “This is a staff that always works together and we’re going to continue to do that. I think this is going to be a smooth transition.”
It hasn’t always been smooth at the board.
In October of 2013, BOE administrative assistant William Miller filed a grievance alleging that Johannes, who has worked at the board for more than 20 years, bullied and harassed him. Another employee, Barbara Burson, also signed the grievance as a witness to the alleged activities.
The board referred the grievance to the county human resources department and eventually Johannes was ordered to attend a supervisory training seminar. She declined comment on Tuesday as to why she announced her retirement.
McCoy has been a full-time employee of the board since 1996 and has been deputy director since 2004. She was president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and has earned the Certified Elections and Registration/Administrator designation.
Also on Tuesday, Lampton was unanimously appointed as the new chairperson, replacing Gerard. The chair is required to be of the opposite party of the director. One of his first orders of business will be to begin the search for Johannes’ replacement when her retirement is official.
The board also voted to switch the director and deputy director positions every two years, which is commonplace in other Ohio counties. Lampton suggested that salaries of the director and deputy director become equal to avoid pay conflicts when the 2-year switches are made. The vote was 2-2 and failed, but Lampton isn’t done with the topic because the director makes $8 thousand more per year.
“We’re going to have to fix it,” he said.