|Education||Austintown Fitch 1985-1988 Degree received - High School Diploma YSU 1988-1992 Degree Received - B.S. Political Science Minor Economics University of Akron: Graduate School 1992-1993 Degree Received – Master of Public Administration School of Law 1999-2003 Degree Received – Juris Doctor|
|Employer||Mahoning County Taxpayers
Mahoning County Auditor
|Family||Karen Marie Sciortino, spouse
Kaitlyn Sciortino, 10 years old
Vincent Sciortino, 8 years old
Michael Sciortino, 6 years old
|Family in office?||Dan Sciortino
Clerk, Treasurers Office
|Time in area||40 years|
|Reasons for running||What are your reasons for running?
I am running for re-election because as a leader in our Valley, it is my responsibility to create ways of doing more with less, such as the consolidation of services or entertaining ideas for a more regional approach to governing.
My business model for governing is simple: reinvent workflow and remove redundancies and waste. With this simple but effective philosophy we have seen clear accomplishments like the following:
• Since 2005 I have instituted strategic telecom / networking initiatives resulting in general fund savings of $1.7 million, while increasing services and functionality.
• Successfully organized the consolidation of all the independent county websites and developed a single point of access to Mahoning County Government on the World Wide Web called the Mahoning County Communicator.
• Spearheaded the effort to merge all County phone lines and contracts into one master agreement.
• Committed to improving customer service by conducting educational seminars with key stakeholders such as Mahoning County School Treasurers, Township Clerks, City Finance Directors and partnering with the Regional Chamber of Commerce.
• In 2007 and 2008, the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office was recognized by the Ohio Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting.
• In 2007, my office implemented Ohio’s new Homestead Exemption Program – providing property tax relief for 22,000 seniors and disabled persons.
• In 2009 led our Data Processing staff in developing MYRIS – the Mahoning Youngstown Regional Information System –a new approach to reinventing government business practices. Received $120,000 to utilize high speed broadband services to connect local government data centers.
• Diligently worked to reduce my predecessor’s annual Information Technology General Fund budget by 40%.
Moreover, I an honored to have been elected by my 87 Ohio County Auditor peers to serve as Vice-President of the County Auditor’s Association of Ohio in 2010.
I have produced measureable results during my tenure as County Auditor, but more work needs to be done. These are challenging economic times and I want to build on these accomplishments to help the county prepare for a stronger financial future.
|Priorities||What are your priorities if elected?
In this era of economic distress, I have a real opportunity and obligation to go above and beyond providing our required mandated services. My priorities for my next term have not changed from my initial goals four years ago:
1. Develop programs to help foster financial stability for county government by working with all departments to create new ways of doing business.
Over the past year, my office has implemented a new county wide accounting system which has not only increased employee productivity but eliminated expenses as well. My implementation team reinvented our business flow to allow for electronic protocols - eliminating redundant methods and massive paper costs while improving communication and productivity. Consequently, these improvements have allowed me to downsize my staff to account for revenue decline in operations. Last November I eliminated an Accounting position which paid $55,000 plus benefits and three full time positions remain vacant.
I will continue to work closely with outside entities like school districts and local municipalities to implement electronic fund transfers fund disbursements and / or on line training and procedure requests. Working collaboratively with other County Departments such as the Mental Health Board, Mahoning County Disability Services Board (MRDD), County Recorder’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department to provide I.T. and related services has saved general and non-general fund expenditures.
2. Build on an already aggressive strategic plan to entertain ideas for a more regional approach to governing. In this regard I intend to work with the County Commissioners and local law enforcement communities to assist with E911 consolidation. We have eight 911 centers in Mahoning County. By utilizing my plan with MYRIS, listed above, we can implement a short term virtual hardware E911 consolidation. Here, my data center would house all of the state of the art E911 servers downtown.
My I.T. staff would continue to provide support as well. Our local communities have neither the time, money nor resources to continue with the status quo without additional help, and my staff can get the job done. Existing centers would not have to change location or personnel...I am merely proposing to consolidate hardware. Once we virtualize hardware, then energy costs, support and maintenance costs will plummet. A good example here is in November, 2009, when my I.T. Department was recognized in Dell Magazine for virtualizing our county servers resulting in a 35% energy and support savings.
3. Job creation / job growth. Now, more than ever our community needs strong collaboration between the public and private sectors – between business and labor. This strengthens our economy by creating an enhanced portfolio of economic resources to develop existing businesses, enhance job creation and promote new business growth.
I intend to lobby our state and federal lawmakers for stimulus money to fund MYRIS, mentioned above, to bring high speed broadband technology to our local government computer centers. There is no reason why local government entities are forced to compete with one another for the same limited tax dollars. We must eliminate duplication and waste and one obvious way to do this is through collaboration to share data center expenses like E911 listed above.
With broadband fiber in place, our economic development portfolio increases dramatically. Expanding and/or relocating companies will set up shop in an area where not only the private sector is on the cutting edge of technology, but where the local government has built winning technology collaborations as well.
|Qualifications||The Auditor’s Office requires qualifications, but not just a general financial background; rather, qualifications in all aspects of the administrative, financial, and legal complexities of county government. I possess these qualifications.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Youngstown State University, I received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in governmental finance from the University of Akron Graduate School. Later I obtained a law degree from the University of Akron. My education has provided me with the tools necessary for the Auditor’s Office.
An auditor must be experienced, but not just practiced at specific office tasks. Rather, an auditor must be a proven manager with a successful track record in an environment of diminishing resources. Early in my career I served as Assistant Mahoning County Administrator where I had a direct role in planning and implementing the county’s $300 million budget. As Director of the Board of Elections, I reduced expenditures by over 25% while implementing a new election system.
During the last four and a half years, I applied my unique qualifications and experience to produce proven results which I have listed above for your review.
|Positions on the issues||In addition to those positions I have outlined above, As your Auditor, I am fully prepared to continue to provide quality service to the tax payers of Mahoning County.
I have made tough decisions in the past that I still believe today to be in the best interest of our taxpayers.It is my job to ask the tough questions when it comes to spending millions of tax payers dollars: How much does it cost? What is the revenue/spending formula? When does the outlay of cost need to be made? Simply, what is the business plan? And, if a plan does not exist which outlines short and long term spending cycles and a reasonable pay back period, then that is simply unacceptable!
I respecfully request the Vindicator endorse my candidacy for Mahoning County Auditor because I have what it takes to get the job done - qualifications, experience, and leadership. Moreover, I have already proven successful results during my tenure as Auditor as stated above.
I thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts for the Auditor’s Office and greatly appreciate your consideration for endorsement.