I am a small business owner in the Dayton area for over 25 years; and have lived in Montgomery County for more than 32 years. I have been very active in numerous community activities and have served on the board of directors and committees of professional and civic organizations on state, national and international levels.
I have a master’s degree with majors in accounting and financial information systems; a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for over 31 years, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA); worked in public accounting; and have very diverse background and experience in various industries, including real estate.
The two most important issues facing the auditor’s office are 1) property assessment and fairness process, and 2) modernization of the county computer system.
Property Assessment and Fairness Process - The County Auditor should have an established and transparent process of selection of county property assessors and evaluate their performance on an on-going basis to ensure impartiality - including periodic audits of non-staff assessors to ensure compliance with established rules, practices, and contracts with attitude towards fairness to county residents and property owners.
Modernization of County Computer Systems - The Auditor is also the manager of the county computer systems. As the leader of the Data Processing Board, the Auditor’s office needs a professional with a real understanding of information technology. In this role, the Auditor can take the lead in moving the county to a more transparent and friendly government organization; thus increasing access to auditor data and reducing resident tax appeals.
My unique background and experiences, all earned in the private sector, qualify me to be the next Montgomery County Auditor, and allows me to provide guidance to all facets of county operations - I am a small business owner, have been a CPA for over 31 years, worked with an internationally recognized accounting firm (Deloitte), and have a very diverse background and experience in various industries, including real estate.
Unfortunately there have been no reported cases of apprehended suspects - or victims - of compromised gas pump skimmers. Residents deserve better protection than a series of self-serving election year reports which result in no investigations or prosecutions. As county auditor, I would perform frequent unscheduled sweeps of pumps in the county, and invite the appropriate law enforcement authorities to vigorously find, apprehend and prosecute the suspects perpetrating these crimes.
My role as County Auditor will be to create an environment for fair and equitable property tax assessments and taxes, open government and save the taxpayers’ money. It is important that the practice and process of property tax valuations be consistently applied across the county to both residential and commercial properties. This would create an environment of fairness, discourage predatory lending practices, and reduce current levels of property abandonment and crime rates and the continued flight to the suburbs.
I was appointed Montgomery County Auditor in December 2000 and elected to full four-year terms in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. I began my career as a state examiner in the county/township audits division for the Ohio Auditor of State. I subsequently served eight years in the Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office first as fiscal systems analyst and later as assistant treasurer for cash management. I was appointed chief deputy auditor in 1991, a position I held for more than nine years prior to my appointment as auditor.
I am the past president of the County Auditors’ Association of Ohio and was named Ohio's Outstanding County Auditor by the CAAO in 2012. In 2016, I received the Ohio Government Finance Officers Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing my public service accomplishments, years of experience and leadership in local government finance. I am a past president of the Ashland University Alumni Association Board of Directors.
A Certified Cash Manager, I earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ashland College and a master’s degree in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 2002, I earned the Ohio Financial Accountability Certification from the State of Ohio, and I completed the Community Land Reform Initiatives Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2009.
The two most pressing issues facing the county auditor’s office are the 2020 Revaluation of property values and protecting consumers against credit card skimmers at gas pumps. The 2020 Revaluation is a two-year long, multi-step process to update all property values for each of the county's 250,000 parcels, where institutional knowledge of county government and mass appraisal are critical for the project’s success. Additionally, the dramatic rise in the discovery of credit card skimmers at gas pumps in Montgomery County requires constant attention by the auditor’s office and its Weights and Measures staff in order to protect consumers from identity theft.
In a public service career that spans more than 35 years, I have an extensive background in government finance and public administration. Having worked in the county auditor’s office since 1991, and serving as County Auditor since 2000, I am uniquely qualified to lead this key local office. I have directed numerous initiatives that have improved services in county government to increase access for residents, and I continue to be a leader in promoting the use of new technology and innovation in my responsibilities as auditor. I am active in the local community and always strive for community input with the duties of the auditor’s office, receiving national awards for the past two years in a row for our civic engagement efforts. I have a proven track record of effective and responsible public service and will continue to do so for the benefit of the residents of Montgomery County.
The growing threat of illegal credit card skimmers placed inside gas pumps requires a proactive approach by the county auditor. There are three main ways the county auditor can combat this crime: inspections, collaboration, and education. With a larger presence of skimmers being found in the county, my office has increased the number of gas pump inspections by our weights and measures staff, performing more than 13,000 inspections last year which is almost double the number performed in the previous year. Secondly, the auditor can collaborate with other county auditors and with federal investigators to work on prevention strategies and help identify and prosecute skimming offenders in and around Ohio. Thirdly, the county auditor can help educate the public and gas station owners about the crime and how consumers can protect themselves from identity theft at the gas pump. I have been a statewide leader in the effort to address the skimming crime, collaborating with fellow county auditors to address this illegal activity in Ohio. For example, in 2017, I led a statewide skimmer sweep involving 65 other county auditors and their inspectors that resulted in more than 12,000 gas pumps across Ohio checked for skimmers over a two-day period. Additionally, I have hosted nine “Skimmer Summits” across the state to raise awareness about the dangers of gas pump skimmers and teach prevention measures to gas station owners, members of local law enforcement and other interested individuals. My staff and I have made numerous presentations to local police departments to educate officers and enlist their support to address this crime.
To improve accuracy, my office recently began using updated digital technology that will improve the overall quality and accuracy of the county's real estate data as well as save taxpayers money by making the property tax administration process more efficient. It will also assist homeowners and businesses with "before" photos in case of property loss. Additionally, we are taking steps to use new technology to enhance our quality control procedures as we conduct the next countywide revaluation.
For homeowner concerns, providing opportunities to engage the public in the revaluation process and being open and transparent will continue to be major priorities for my office. We will continue to improve our website to provide access to information and data regarding each homeowner's property. We will continue to hold workshops to assist property owners who want to file formal appeals of their property values to the Board of Revision (BOR) to address their concerns. In addition, we were one of the first counties in Ohio to hold informal review sessions that invite property owners to inspect the details of their valuations with certified appraisers at locations within their community before those values are finalized. As auditor, I will continue to make my staff available to property owners in their own backyard and engage the public in this process.