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Letter Shows Previous Problem For Elections Director



Kathy Meyer, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections, was scheduled to go before the four-member Board of Elections today, Wednesday, during which she will probably be questioned about a recent confl ict with the Fulton County Commissioners.

A previous reprimand contained in a May 13, 2008 letter from members of the Board of Elections, may come into play at the meeting.

Current Situation

In the May primary vote on electric bill aggregation, all county voters cast ballots on whether or not the county should effectively act as the bargaining agent with First Energy Solutions for discounted electric generation.

The issue, which was approved by voters from all areas of the county, allows the commissioners to bargain on behalf of electricity customers “in the unincorporated areas of the county.”

However, it was later determined only voters in unincorporated areas of the county should have voted on the issue. The votes from incorporated areas were subtracted from the total vote count, and the measure still passed.

There were questions over the wording of the original resolution as to who was to vote on the aggregation issue.

However, Meyer told the press– including this newspaper– that the commissioners’ resolution was unclear, was submitted at the last minute, and that Vond Hall, Fulton County administrator, was of no help.

The county commissioners complained about Meyer’s comments to the media. In a May 17 letter to Mark Hagans, chairman of the Board of Elections, the commissioners said Hall told Meyer to check with the Ohio Secretary of State office.

Previous

The 2008 letter referred to an incident in which Meyer allegedly made accusations against Sandy Barber, county recorder and chairman of the county Republican Party Central Committee.

Meyer said Barber allegedly told Frank Onweller, county engineer, to hire another man over Jim Meyer, Kathy’s husband, for a vacant superintendent position in the county engineer department’s highway department.

Jim Meyer is an assistant superintendent at the county highway department.

Both Meyers are members of the Democratic Party. Onweller is a Republican, but there is no indication that political affiliation played a role in the alleged incident.

K. Meyer also claimed she had an audio recording of a telephone call, which was allegedly proof of her allegation.

In the May 13, 2008 letter to K. Meyer, the Board of Elections tells her that after testimony, affidavits, and a review of a transcript of the recording, that her accusations are “determined by us to be false.”

The board said in the letter Meyer allegedly refused to disclose how she obtained the recording, or the contents of the recording to the board. When board members did review a certified transcript of the recording, they “did not find any support…for your accusation and therefore have determined your statement… to be false.

The 2008 letter states K. Meyer had received “several prior oral requests” to control her impulsiveness.

“Your current battle in behalf of your husband with the Fulton County Recorder and the Fulton County Engineer is another example of your impulsiveness and combativeness, which not only reflects adversely on you in your position as Director of Elections, and the Board of Elections, but also creates an atmosphere where other county officers are reluctant to deal with you in the capacity of Director of Elections.

“The taping of a message by the director of elections on the phone of another county officer, without such officer’s express permission, and the spreading of information that such taping occurred among the county offices generates a distrust of you, which will make it difficult for other county offi- cers to place trust in you and the Board of Elections,” the 2008 letter states.

The letter also informs Meyer that she is expected to conduct herself at all times in a “professional and courteous manner.

“You claimed in your hearing that only applies during working hours as the Director of Elections.

“As your employer, we expect, and will require that you conduct yourself at all times in a professional and courteous manner which will command the respect of all voters, candidates of offi ce, and elected officers of Fulton County.”

No Dismissal, But…

The letter from the board members states “although we have discussed possible dismissal, (we) have decided to issue this letter as a written reprimand to give you one more chance to maintain the standard of conduct which we expect and hereby establish a probationary period for you through Aug. 31, 2008.”

She was to:

•Reconcile difference with Barber and Onweller “by whatever means you deem appropriate.”

•Issue written letters of apology to those caught in the middle of the dispute, “especially those who were requested to execute affidavits by reason of this dispute.”

Other performance issues pointed out:

•Be sensitive to performing her fair share of work in the office.

•Arrive for work on time.

•Do not take a lunch period of more than one hour.

•Do not eat lunch at her desk.

•Do not use a state computer for personal purposes.

•Call the board chairman when planning to be absent during work hours.

As of press time, it is not known if the 2008 letter will be considered during the Wednesday meeting.


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