11/26/07 — Hunt for elections director narrows

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Hunt for elections director narrows

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 26, 2007 1:45 PM

Now that Wayne County's 2007 municipal elections are officially over, the county Board of Elections is planning to act "as soon as possible" to fill the director position that has been vacant since mid-September.

"The board members have been in board of elections meetings a lot the last three to four months since our prior director notified us he was leaving, but we were waiting until after the elections to make a final decision because it is an important decision," said chairman Gene Riddle after last week's recount.

The position came open in September when former director Gary Sims told the board that he was leaving to take a position in Wake County.

His announcement, which came on the eve of the county's municipal elections, caught many by surprise as they prepared for the Goldsboro primary.

Fortunately, said Erin Burridge, who serves as the systems technician for the elections office, everything, from the original polling to the recount, went smoothly.

She has been filling Sims' shoes as interim director since he left.

A veteran of the elections office since 2004, she is a candidate for the position, for which fewer than 10 people applied.

"They were all good applicants," Riddle said.

But, he added, despite the fact that they finished interviews several weeks ago, nobody has been selected yet.

The three-member board has, however, trimmed its list of candidates to only a few finalists.

"We've narrowed it down, but we have not selected anyone," Riddle said. "We think we've got some good candidates to choose from, and we want to do it as soon as possible. But we want to make the right decision, and that takes time."