Licking County Board of Elections director Jay Morrow resigned July 21, saying he accepted a position with the Licking County Treasurer's Office.

Licking County Board of Elections director Jay Morrow resigned July 21, saying he accepted a position with the Licking County Treasurer's Office.

"It is an opportunity I can't refuse," Morrow said. "It will be better for me and better for my family."

The Licking County Board of Elections scheduled an emergency meeting for 3:30 p.m. July 22 to discuss Morrow's resignation.

The board agreed to advertise for the position before Morrow's resignation becomes effective Aug. 1.

Board chairman J. Michael King said an interim director could be appointed and in place by the Aug. 5 special election. He said the board did not have anyone already interested in the position as of July 22.

Martha Sullivan, regional liaison for the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, said the secretary of state will advertise for the position first. The board then will have to choose whom to appoint to the position.

Board members asked department employees about the feasibility of proceeding without Morrow for the August special election and upcoming presidential election in November. Employees said they are ready for the special election, with only two local issues on the ballot: a 5-year, 9.5-mill levy for emergency requirements of Newark City Schools and approval of a joint economic-development zone for Etna Township.

Morrow said the elections board has an excellent staff that runs operations without much supervision.

Morrow will take a pay cut to go to the treasurer's office as director of delinquent tax collections. County records show Morrow earns $57,033.60 annually.

Treasurer Michael Smith said the two have not discussed salary yet, but Morrow will have to take a pay cut for the new job.

"It's less than what Jay's making now, but it's an opportunity for him to take control of a department that can grow. It's the challenge he likes," Smith said.

Smith said the new position is funded via a percentage of delinquent tax collections, not through the county's general fund. Morrow will work with three others who already work with Smith to collect taxes owed to the county. Smith said he was handling the tax collections, working with township trustees to alert them of delinquencies and funds owed to the townships. He said he hopes Morrow will broaden the program and work with school boards and city and village governments to let them know how much taxes are owed.

Smith said most of the delinquencies today are because of financial hardships. In many cases, the treasurer's office could set up a payment plan for delinquents.

"Our job is to collect taxes," Smith said. "Most of the money goes to the school, and they should get what's due to them."

Smith said Morrow has a great personality and will work well with people, which is a large part of the job. Morrow is expected to start the week of Aug. 4.