MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections welcomed new members to the board as well as made appointments during their meeting Friday morning.
The board reappointed Bev Kendall, a Republican, as their director before appointing board member Dave Fisher of Bethel Township, a Democrat, as the board’s chairperson.
The board also welcomed new board member Audrey Gillespie of Piqua, whom the Miami County Democratic Party appointed to replace former board member Dean Tamplin. Gillespie works as a teacher in Fairborn.
“I want the board of elections to be someplace that the residents of Miami County have confidence in,” Gillespie said.
When asked about goals for the board, Gillespie said that she would like “to improve communication between the staff and board.”
Due to regulations, there need to be a certain number of Republican board and staff members along with a certain number of Democrat board and staff members. Gillespie said that this can create a partisan attitude in the office where board members of one political party will deal with staff members of that same party, but she wants everyone to be accountable to each other regardless of political party.
“It’s too long focused (on) two separate parties coexisting, and I think that everyone needs to be accountable for everyone,” Gillespie said. “If I see something that’s not following the Secretary of State’s directive, I want to feel comfortable enough to go and say, ‘Hey, we need to fix this,’ and not have to go speak to a Republican member to go talk to them.”
The remaining, and now longest sitting board member, Ryan King, is currently the one Republican on the board. The Miami County Republican Party still needs to appoint a new member to the board to replace former board member Jose Lopez.
The board also needs a deputy director after recently terminating former Deputy Director Eric Morgan. The deputy director will need to be a Democrat. The board will be advertising the position in the Dayton Daily News as well as online. They agreed to advertise for the position right now, but will wait until they have a full board in place before making any decisions in order to make it a bipartisan decision.
At the end of the meeting, Fisher thanked former members Tamplin and Lopez for their service to the board and the county.
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