Tuesday, October 1, 2013



Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar (Republican - Alliance) is probably the best thing to come out of the credibility disaster that tainted the financial aspects of Stark County government with the revelation in 2009 that a county treasurer employee (the-then chief deputy treasurer:  Vince Frustaci) had stolen upwards of $3 million in Stark County taxpayer money.

The Stark County Political Report ongoing series analyzing how well or poorly county officials are doing in managing the $22 million taxpayer cash infusion (for criminal justice purposes only) granted to county officialdom in the November, 2011 election finds that in the case of the Zumbar led Stark County treasurer, the office gets an:


On August 23, 2010, the-then Stark County commissioners (Bosley, Ferguson and Meeks - all Democrats) dismissed the-then treasurer Gary D. Zeigler (Democrat - Plain Township) and appointed Ken Koher (Democrat - Navarre, now Massillon's financial chief) to replace Zeigler.

Zeigler, who was not implicated in the Frustaci theft, denied that he had done anything in terms of his policies and practices in administration to merit the commissioners removing him.

The state of Ohio Auditor's office (under the the-then leadership of Republican Mary Taylor) did issue a report after the Frustaci revelation critical of Zeigler's administration of the Stark treasury.

In November 2010, Zumbar (as the Republican's nominee) matched up against Democrat Koher in a face off to determine who was to be the voters' choice to replace Zeigler.

On June 23, 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered Zeigler reinstated (thereby negating Zumbar's election in November, 2010) as treasurer on the grounds that the commissioners' process in removing him was an unconstitutional denial of his right to due process.

Ultimately (October 19, 2011), Zeigler reached an agreement with the commissioners (Bernabei, Creighton and Ferguson) to resign/retire.

The commissioners then appointed Zumbar to replace Zeigler for the remainder of his term.

Finally, in November, 2011 Zumbar was elected in his own right in a valid election.


It was no surprise to the SCPR that Zumbar rated a A+ on my analysis of his stewardship of taxpayer dollars in the face of possibly qualifying for more operational dollars in view of the 2011 0.5% sales tax passage.

Going back to the time Zumbar was in office when first "elected" in 2010, he and his able assistant Jaime Allbrittain (who, was herself a very brief occupant [until the Democrats appointed Koher back in 2010] of the head spot in the treasurer's office) along with Koher instituted a series of administrative operational and policy changes to ensure security within the treasury.

Most of the work was done by Zumbar.  Zumbar is a former finance director in Alliance before moving on to North Canton where he was positioned at the time of his 2012 election as treasurer.

In managing his office budget post-2011 increased county revenues, Zumbar appears to have "actually reduced" his office expenditures from 2012 to 2013.

In numbers provided by Stark County auditor Alan Harold, the spreadsheet shows a reduction from the 2012 total employee expenditure number of $527,755 to a 2013 number of $523,628 for a nearly 8/10ths of one percent.

It appears from the listing that one employee went from full-time status to part-time intern status which in and of itself resulted in a 63% reduction.

While two employees did receive about the commissioners' recommended 2% limit on 2013 fiscal year increases (one 28% and another 13%, one can safely presume that Zumbar only granted the increases on merit and because the employees have taken on new responsibilities justfying the super-increases.

Otherwise, all the increases were limited to 2% with two employees several employees not getting any increase. 

Impressive is the fact that Zumbar's top assistant Jaime Allbritain remained as of September 11th at her 2012 salary of $45,000.

The Report has embarked upon a complete analysis of the county department of governments tapping into the commissioners general revenue numbers post-sales-tax-increase to determine whether or not the departments are heeding the commissioners' call for them to "hold the line" and not increase their budgets unless absolutely necessary.

Well, it is hard to imagine any department of government outdoing Zumbar.

In prior blogs, I have shown that the commissioners have not followed their own rhetoric and certainly Stark County recorder Rick Campbell hasn't.  Both received a C- grade from me in my SCPR analysis.

A Stark County Report "Tip of the Hat" to Alex Zumbar for having received the A+ rating.

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