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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Elections board director resigns

Mercer County

By William Kincaid
On Monday - just one day before today's primary election - Mike Lamm resigned asdirector of the Mercer County Board of Elections.
Lamm has been in the position eight months.
"After considerable thought, as well as many discussions with my family over the past several weeks, I have decided to submit my resignation as director," Lamm wrote in a resignation letter to board members. "In order to facilitate a smooth transition, I feel it is in the best interest of this office for me to continue in my position through the May 4 primary election, and/or until the board has selected a suitable replacement."
Lamm this morning said he will continue working as needed, adding that he was at work at 4 a.m. today to get ready for the primary election.
"However, I understand that I serve at the pleasure of the board and will step down as director at any time prior to that selection if such a course of action is deemed suitable by its membership," Lamm wrote in his letter.
Asked further about his decision to resign, Lamm only stated "personal reasons."
Lamm, a Democrat, said board of elections members will advertise for the position before selecting a new director, which he said could take as long as two to three weeks.
Board of elections chairman Owen Hall, a Republican, agreed with the timeline.
According to Ohio Board of Elections requirements, the board chairman and director must have different political party affiliations.
Asked if a Democrat must be selected as director, Hall said not necessarily so, pointing out that he could step down as chairman.
Lamm, 4319 Merrill Ave., Celina, was recommended by Democrat board members Betty Cook and Mark Uhlenhake to fill the director position in September. Cook, Uhlenhake and Republican board member Toni Slusser unanimously approved the measure at that time. Hall was absent at the September meeting.
Lamm took the position of former Director Lynn Wylds, who was fired along with Deputy Director Denise Fullenkamp, because of discrepancies in canceled voter registrations.
At that time, the two Democratic board members were in charge of hiring the director because the chairman was Hall. The Republican members were in charge of hiring a Republican deputy director - Laura Bruns.
In early March, Slusser made a request to demote Lamm to deputy director. Lamm eventually won the seat after Hall broke rank and voted with the Democrats.
Neither Slusser nor Uhlenhake could be reached for comment this morning.
Additional online story on this date
A private company wanting to build an anaerobic digester that turns manure into electricity is expected to break ground on a facility near Celina by the end of the year, Celina Community Development and Planning Director Kent Bryan said recently. [More]
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