COLUMBIANA COUNTY Milliken seeks full auditor term

The auditor is seeking election as the county grapples with a financial crisis.
LISBON -- Columbiana County Auditor Nancy Milliken was appointed to her post more than a year ago to replace her ailing predecessor.
Now Milliken wants voters to endorse her. She announced Tuesday that she has filed election petitions to run for the Republican party's nomination for auditor in the May 7 primary.
So far, no other candidates have filed petitions for the post.
Milliken, 55, of Guilford Lake, said her service of more than decade in the auditor's office qualifies her to be elected to a full four-year term.
"I know the office, and I know how county government works," Milliken said of having served in the auditor's office from 1991 until 2000 as chief bookkeeper.
Stepped in: In November 2000, Milliken was appointed auditor by the county Republican party after Patricia Hadley resigned for health reasons.
Hadley was a Republican, giving the party the option of selecting someone to complete her term, which ends March 10, 2003.
Milliken is choosing to run with the county in the midst of a financial crisis.
The county is entering 2002 with departmental budget requests of $16.7 million. Anticipated revenues total about $12.7 million.
Commissioners are considering placing a measure on the primary ballot calling for a 0.5-percent increase in the county's 1-percent sales tax.
If it passes, it will help get the county out of its financial straits, Milliken said.
Remembering efforts: She said she is hopeful voters will remember her office's efforts in 2001 to pare from 25 percent to 12 percent the state's proposal to increase property valuations in the county.
The state proposed the increase because a routine study of property transactions indicated that values listed in county records were less than the actual selling prices.
Property values are used in determining property taxes. A 25-percent increase in values would have meant a nearly 14-percent tax increase.
The 12-percent valuation increase that was negotiated by Milliken's office will result in a nearly 7.5-percent increase.
Milliken's candidacy doesn't mark her first bid for office. She ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner in 1996.

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