Gary Shumway (R) – Summit County Auditor
Gary Shumway (Republican)
Summit County Auditor
Question 1: What are your qualifications to run for county auditor and why do you want to serve?
My wife and I own property and have lived on both sides of the county. I am aware of the issues facing us. I have three Masters Degrees: an MBA (Finance), MA (Psychology), and MPH (Biostatistics). I am a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors. I have been a computer programmer since 1976, with my own company since 1984. I have programmed a complete accounting and budgeting package for a university, hired by the federal government, the County of San Diego, large HMOs, national medical laboratories and a brokerage firm. I will take the Certified Government Auditing Professional exam next year.
I am campaigning for your county auditor because it’s predominantly OUR, yours and my, money that the county’s spending. I want an objective and independent county auditor who will actually conduct audits. Companies hire independent auditors, it shouldn’t be any different with your money. Electing a Democratic Auditor when most of the county offices are run by Democrats is not independent auditing. I am a Republican but independent as I self-fund, take no money from political parties, and do not have political baggage or debts to repay. My motto is "trust but verify." Gary Shumway for Auditor. Voteshumway.org.
Question 2: Are there any things you want to change about the way the auditor’s office is run?
I understand that many Summit County Special Districts have not been recently audited by the Auditor’s office. Thus the financial and procedural auditing of the special districts and other relevant offices would be a priority. Modernization, where cost effective, championed. An easily accessible mechanism for keeping the taxpayer informed will be implemented. Reviewing and updating audit objectives, plans, tests, documentation and remediation would also be a priority. State and professional training and certification commensurate with the position is critical for efficient functioning. The Deputy Auditor should be able to competently fill in for the auditor should the need arise. Similarly, the auditor should be a Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP). As Auditor I will sit for the CGAP exam during my first year in office. The relatively poor morale within the Auditor’s office, due to internal and external factors, must be resolved. Vote Gary Shumway for YOUR County Auditor. Voteshumway.org.
Question 3: Does the county have adequate reserve funds to weather another recession?
This is a somewhat subjective question which depends on the depth and length of the next recession, how non-tax revenue is affected, the willingness of citizens to forego county services, the ability of the county to find new funding sources, etc. That said, accounts generally have a reserve built in. Where appropriate, I would like to see that amount increased. Yet most telling is the Tax Stability or Rainy-Day account. The upper limit on that account is $15 million. Several years ago $2 million was taken from the account as a ‘loan’ (which obviously was never meant to be repaid) and then the citizens unwisely voted to not repay the ‘loan.’ Now the account is down to $10.2 million and instead of the interest from that money being used to increase its balance, it is being spent elsewhere. This while inflation decreases the actual value of the account! Voteshumway.org.
Question 4: Is the current budget process efficient and are there ways to make it more so? Can you recommend any cost saving measures?
Apparently the County Council is moving the budgeting process from the Auditor’s office to the Administration office which, in my opinion, is not a cost saving measure. Therefore this question is not directly relevant to the Auditor’s office beginning 2015. That said, the budgeting process apparently spans some four to five months. This extended time frame tends to complicate the process as entities offer up one budget but months later, when the budget is near finalization, too often they will present additional spending needs. This causes havoc with the previously agreed upon numbers. Either a firm cutoff date should be implemented, the process shortened, or departments encouraged to do a better job of planning. Possibly closer adherence to the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (NACSLB) framework would be helpful and cost effective. Gary Shumway for Summit County Auditor, because it’s YOUR money.
Question 5: Are you satisfied with the county’s current council/manager form of government, why or why not and what would make it better?
Most of humanity has the desire to better their circumstances. This is a good trait but also one which causes us to believe that it is always greener on the other side of Hoyt’s Peak. Numerous measures could be used to determine a general consensus whether moving from a Commission to a Council/Manager government was better for Summit County and in 150 words it is essentially futile to adequately expound on them but here goes.
Is county government more responsive to us? It is bigger but arguably less responsive. Is county government more open? Too many decisions are made without citizen input or in opposition to our input. Is county government less expensive? No. In 2008 the cost of Commissioners and Administration was $529,207, in 2013 the cost of Council and Administration was $1,207,416. The manager has been given too much power. Council must rein in the manager. Voteshumway.org.
Question 6: Please differentiate your platform from your opponent’s.
I am the best candidate for the position of YOUR Summit County Auditor. I have three Master degrees, I have been a computer programmer since 1976 and owner of my contract computer programming business since 1984. I have written a complete budgeting and accounting system for a University, been hired by the federal government, the County of San Diego, large health care organizations, national laboratories, and brokerage firms. I have worked in the public and private sector with CEOs, CFOs, and members of teams resolving my clients’ issues. I am a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors. I understand the auditor’s checks and balance role.
I am a Republican but independent as I have no political debts to repay and predominantly finance my own campaign. My dealings with the County have only been as a taxpayer. I am fiscally conservative, socially inclusive. I believe the Auditor must audit, including the Special Districts, better communicate with the public, and the Auditor’s office personnel better trained and procedures updated. I will spend thousands of my own money and many hours on this campaign. I am the candidate who is working hardest for your vote! Shumway for YOUR County Auditor. Voteshumway.org.
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