Thursday, January 17, 2013


It was refreshing to sit in on Stark County Auditor Alan Harold's 2013 budget presentation to Stark County commissioners on Monday morning.

Quite a contrast to the one about a week earlier by Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero.

The difference?

Harold showed that he is a team player.  In the opinion of the SCPR, Ferrero has demonstrated that he is not.

Despite passing a sales tax levy in November, 2011, the Stark County commissioners are under the gun to be very frugal with taxpayer dollars.  There simply is not enough money to go around.

Put yourself in the commissioners shoes.  Who would you rather come in?
  • A guy who says he wants to go back to 2010 levels of funding and rehire 14 people (Ferrero) and might go from his desired 3% to the commissioners' recommended 2% raise for existing employees or,
  • A guy who points out that he has scaled down by 17 employees since 2010 and might need to add a couple in the information section of his department (Harold) and who didn't miss a beat in plugging the 2% figure into projected raises for employees who have had no raises of any kind for a number of years (same situation for the prosecutor's employees)
Is there any doubt?

The commissioners would never say it for themselves, so let yours truly do it.  Of course, Auditor Harold.

The SCPR is impressed with Harold's "let us help the county attitude" and his demonstrated cost cutting that is truly exemplary for all county officials to follow.

What is interesting about the employees that Harold wants to add (a PC Network Technician and a Network Engineer) is that they are in the information technology area.  While the auditor hasn't promoted it this way, it appears to The Report that these are employees who are likely to make the county's technology more effective and efficient and over time will recoup for the county the expense of their remuneration plus.

On the prosecutor's side, it appears from Stark County Treasurer Alex Zumbar's budget hearing input with commissioners that the "low hanging fruit" on delinquent tax collections has been picked and now that the prosecutor's will have a much tougher time collecting what is owing to the county's revenues.

The Report can see it now. There is likely to be less productiveness out of the prosecutor's office on this score.  But, of course, the number of employees and monies dedicated to the DETAC (Delinquent Tax Assessment Collection) effort will not decrease.

So that is yet another difference the SCPR projects as being a difference between the two departments of Stark County government.

You have seen the numbers for the prosecutor's office on the SCPR (LINK).

Here are Harold's numbers (compared to predecessor Kim Perez's):

From a Perez high of 114 in 2008, Harold dropped to 86.  Amazing, no?  A drop in 28 employees.

Harold has added some employees and yet he is still (2012) 17 employees below Perez's lowest number of 108 employees registered in 2010 (Harold defeated Perez in the November, 2010 election)

More numbers.

From Perez's high in 2008 of $7,608,812.50 (that's millions folks), Harold dropped to $6,601,568.16 and reduction of $1,007,244.34.

From Perez's last number registered in 2010 of $7,467.519.54, Harold comes in at a projected 2013 reduction of $804,779.18 even in the face of hiring two new employees and with all employees getting a 2% increase.

For all of the foregoing reasons, the SCPR grades Stark County Auditor Alan Harold as deserving of an A+ in the way he operates his office.

Here is a list of the auditor's office employees and the office pay scale as presented by Auditor Harold.

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