By Randa Wagner
April 22, 2014
Among the many issues to be decided on the May 6 ballot is the race for the Republican nomination for the Morrow County Auditor’s position. Auditor Mary Holtrey faces Development Director Patricia Davies in the May 6 Primary.
Holtrey has been in her current position for 27 years and said she is running again because she loves her job.
“I live three blocks from the courthouse and I don’t like staying home,” she maintains. “I have good employees and I feel I’ve done a good job in my 27 years as auditor.”
During her years in office, she says she was one of the first auditors in Morrow County that had a website up and running so people could go in and check their property values and their neighbors’ property values.
“Right now, we’re in the process of doing “Pictometry,’ which is a wonderful tool for the county,” she notes. “It’s a four-sided view of each property. We are one of five counties that doesn’t have GIS (geographic information system) and we just signed a contract for the prototype to be done. Then we will have GIS like the other counties.”
Holtrey says they have upgraded everything in the office.
“All our hardware and software is top-notch and comparable with everybody else,” she says. “We hadn’t had new computers for 12 years. The new software wouldn’t work on our computers, so we had to get new ones. Everything is state of the art right now and I’m very proud of it.”
‘Meeting with the public’ is what Holtrey says she enjoys most about her position.
“I’ve always had an open door policy: the people come in and sit down and I see everyone who comes in,” she says. “I know the biggest share of the residents by name.”
She points out that, as the chief fiscal officer, she is responsible for making sure the millions and millions of dollars that come into the county are receipted right and paid out correctly.
Holtrey says automation is the biggest change she has experienced in her role over the years.
“When I first took over, everything was done by hand on paper. Now everything is computerized. We email - we don’t send letters. I think technology has been the biggest change that’s happened. It’s much better and my office is as up with technology as anyone.”
Holtrey says knowing the people that come in is a plus.
“I’m here everyday,” she says. “I enjoy the people and I feel I’ve done a good job for the residents of Morrow County. I love my job and will continue to do what I’ve been doing.”
Pat Davies feels she has much to offer in the role of auditor. She was appointed to the development office in 2007 by the Morrow County Commissioners and secured $10 million in grants in that time.
Her platform and agenda include requiring organized and accurate accounting reports, being visible and active as Sealer in Weights and Measures, conducting yearly auditor’s sales to sell the ‘hundreds of properties sitting idle,’ and developing and funding a GIS based Lot Line Parcel Overlay.
Davies is a 1982 Northmor alumnus and 1986 West Point graduate. She served as a US Army Officer for 5 years, Veterans Office Director for two years, Chester Township Fiscal Officer for 14 years, and an Inventory Control Supervisor in Lumberton, NJ.
In her role as Director of Operations for the county, Davies says, “We’ve been able to collaborate and unify efforts throughout the county in both attraction and marketing the county as a great place to work, play and live. I believe helping Morrow County itself realize that we’re a great place. Promoting that to not just Ohio but the United States and the world is probably what I am most ‘proud’ of.”
She says out of everything they’ve been able to do, she believes in teamwork and collaboration and a unified effort has put Morrow County on a worldwide map.
“We’ve had industrialized companies here from other countries and states,” she says. “We’ve told our story and we’ve been positive and a partner in the region: those are the kinds of things I know I can bring to the rest of county government and continue to do. I don’t think it’s about starting new - I think it’s about continuing to do positive and progressive things.”