UP: In a swing state like Ohio, running elections efficiently and smoothly is critical. A recent study from the Pew Charitable Trusts organization ranks the state 24th for its election performance in 2012, up 13 spots from 2008. The study found voters only had to wait an average of 11 minutes to vote, down from 16 minutes in 2008. The state also got points for mailing an absentee ballot application to every registered voter for the first time and for adding a post-election audit between 2008 and 2012. Ohio’s ranking could improve even more, according to the Pew report, if it offered online voter registration. That’s something Secretary of State Jon Husted has long lobbied for and the Legislature should approve.

UP: Findlay’s newest city employee, Don Essex, was hired as the human resources director, but will be wearing several different hats. In addition to traditional HR tasks, communication and public relations will be part of the job. Essex was one of five who interviewed for the position and is said to have risen to the top because of his work experience and personality. Since 2008, he had supervised staffing and recruitment for Fort Wayne’s Human Resources Department. An Air Force veteran, he has also worked in Fort Wayne’s police department and court system. Welcome, Mr. Essex, and good luck!

UP: Summer is still a couple of months away, but the Fostoria Planning Commission is looking ahead to the swimming season. It wants to change the fence height requirement for residents with swimming pools from 4 feet to 6 feet, and require a self-locking gate. The safety measures are intended to help keep small children from pools, and prevent accidental drownings that happen each summer throughout the country. The proposals still need approval by the zoning commission, but could help Fostoria avoid experiencing the kind of tragedy that would scar the summer.

UP: Roger Powell and his faithful band of sand movers began work Monday on the annual “On Common Ground” Easter-themed sand sculpture at the Hancock County Fairgrounds. By Good Friday, the 300-ton sculpture will be completed and, by Sunday, thousands will have made the pilgrimage to see it. The holiday is full of traditions, and visiting the sculpture, now in its 15th year, is worth adding to the Easter week to-do list, if it isn’t on it already.



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