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A job opening that no one wanted

Posted: March 10, 2013 - 1:06am

It’s the job opening that no one wanted to see.

Untold numbers of hearts were heavy in December when the Marshall family decided it was time for Deborah Marshall, Columbia County’s longtime, beloved elections director to retire. Despite the fervent prayers and well-wishes of virtually everyone in the community, Marshall simply wasn’t able to return from surgery she underwent in April for a malignant brain tumor.

Hope had been strong. The staff at the Board of Elections Office, all of them Marshall’s abundantly competent proteges, carried the office through the tedious process of issuing tens of thousands of new voter registration cards, conducting a primary and a runoff, and then a presidential election. Their near-flawless efforts assuredly would have made Marshall proud.

But reluctantly, the show had to go on. The work of overseeing elections never ends, and the office needed a leader.

No one wanted to post Marshall’s job opening, or accept applications for her position, or to hire her successor. But it had to be done.

It’s with mixed emotions, then, that we congratulate the imminently capable Nancy Gay as the new elections director. She and the other workers in the office, all of whom worked closely with Marshall, undoubtedly will continue holding to the high standards Marshall set.

It’s unspeakably sad that we can’t have Marshall back. But it’s good to know her legacy is honored with the promotion of one of her staff.

Though no one could ever replace Deborah Marshall, we believe Nancy Gay will make a fine successor.

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