Delaware County elections workers won't yet receive the pay raises to which an independent study contends they're entitled, but they also won't have to relocate their offices until at least December.

Delaware County elections workers won't yet receive the pay raises to which an independent study contends they're entitled, but they also won't have to relocate their offices until at least December.

Last Monday, county commissioners voted unanimously to honor elections officials' requests to delay the relocation of their offices until at least Dec. 6, when votes from the Nov. 4 general election are expected to be certified by the Ohio Secretary of State's Office.

The commissioners also declined to take action on an elections official's request to provide their employees with $22,720 in pay and associated benefits increases.

Since April, the board of elections has asked for the pay raises four times after an independent consultant's study showed Delaware County elections employees are the second-lowest paid elections employees among counties of comparable size and complexity in Ohio.

In pulling the compensation request from consideration, the commissioners acknowledged some elections employees might be underpaid, but said sagging county revenues limit their ability to dole out raises. They added that the county this summer or fall will review compensation scales for all employees, and raises shouldn't be granted before that process is complete.

"It's got to be across the board," said commissioner Jim Ward. "It can't just be the board of elections.

"I personally am not going to give someone a raise if somebody else has to be laid off."

The BOE was conducting a board meeting during the commissioners' consideration of the pay raises on Monday, and no representatives were present at the time the item was pulled. Later, BOE director Janet Brenneman declined comment on the matter.

"The full board wasn't there and I haven't had a chance to discuss it with them," she said.

While the pay increase news wasn't good for elections officials, they won't have to worry about moving their offices from the Rutherford B. Hayes Building to the recently purchased and renovated Frank B. Willis Government Building, formerly the Hall's Furniture store, 2081 U.S. Route 23 North.

The commissioners had planned to move the board of elections to the new locale over the July Fourth weekend. However, elections officials have opposed the move, citing concerns the move might compromise their ability to accurately conduct two Aug. 5 special elections, as well as the Nov. 4 general election, which will feature a host of local, state and national elections and are expected to bring in record numbers of voters.

Earlier this month, elections officials formally petitioned the commissioners to delay the move until after Dec. 6.

Last Monday, the commissioners approved a "memorandum of understanding," allowing the "BOE to remain in its current offices in the Hayes Building through Dec. 6, 2008."

The memorandum states that should the certification date be delayed by court order, the BOE may "remain in its current offices through the certification date established by the court order." It adds that the BOE must relocate to the Willis Building by Dec. 13 or seven days after the certification date by court order.

"We wanted to add a time period certain after certification by which they would move," said Dave Cannon, Delaware County administrator.

Following the vote, Brenneman said BOE board members would review the memorandum and determine if it's acceptable the next time they are able to convene.

"The board is reviewing it and they haven't signed it," she said. "Until our board signs it, it's not final.

"Our next official board meeting is the 15th of July, but we may meet before that."