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Two furloughed from BOE

IRONTON — The two clerks at the Lawrence County Board of Elections will go on a spring-summer hiatus as part of cost-cutting efforts at the board.

Pat Coburn, who has worked at the courthouse office for 14 years, and Jeri Holzhauser, a 2-year employee, will be laid off, starting May 1, until Aug. 1. The layoffs were approved by the board at its Thursday meeting.

“I regret having to do it very much,” Craig Allen, BOE vice chairman, said Friday morning. “I don’t like to have anyone lose their job.”

The board of elections is one of 18 offices funded by the county commissioners facing a fiscal crunch. It was reported a month ago the BOE would run out of money between Oct. 1 and the end of the year.

“We’re trying to be part of the solution,” Cathy Overbeck, board director, said. “It will be very difficult. Contrary to popular public belief, we are very busy year-round.”

In odd years the office is required to handle the national change of address (NCOA) that involves changes for the more than 45,000 registered voters in the county.

“We obtain the data file and split it among the four of us and even at that it is quite a task,” she said.

That job will now be done solely by Overbeck and the BOE’s deputy director, Eric Bradshaw.

On top of that will be working with those wishing to run in the November general election, whose filing date is Aug. 20.

“There will be people picking up petitions and filing petitions,” Overbeck said. “We have to check each and every signature and do it in a timely fashion and have it certified by the board. Everything in this office is about deadlines. It is going to be very difficult.”

The two clerks will return to their same jobs on Aug. 1 at the same pay level and benefits. Overbeck declined to give the dollar amount the temporary layoffs would save.