Political newcomer Nancy Denutte is challenging incumbent Mark Gerber in the race for Liberty Township fiscal officer in the Nov. 3 election.
Denutte has 25 years of experience in managing financials, budgets and projections for her family’s metal fabrication business, Action Group Inc., based in Blacklick, Ohio, which has been in operation for 33 years. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and studied for three years at The Ohio State University College of Business.
Denutte, a resident of Liberty Township for nearly 23 years, said she is running for the position because she believes she can execute the duties of the office more efficiently than the incumbent.
“I think somebody needs to do it better, and I think I can do it better,” she said. “The main goal that I have is to change the bookkeeping method. I would like to see GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) accounting so that the taxpayers and the trustees can see, at their fingertips, how much the township owes as well as what the cash flow is.”
Among her campaign promises are commitments to “advocate for accountability, transparency and responsible budgets;” to represent the community professionally and ethically; as well as “take and keep the minutes at trustee meetings and prepare them in a timely manner,” something which she says Gerber has not accomplished.
Gerber, who is nearing the completion of his second term in office, has a doctorate in nuclear engineering. Before entering into public service, he owned a consulting firm focused on energy issues.
He said he decided to run for re-election because there is “still work to do,” including contract negotiations with the union representing the township’s firefighters and upcoming changes to health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act.
Gerber said he believes the work he has done in his first two terms should warrant him a third. His accomplishments, he said, include digitizing the township’s records; cleaning up un-auditable books that were unable to be audited when he took office; increasing employees’ share of their health care premiums; and finding an emergency loan at a low interest rate to keep the fire department afloat after a levy failure.
“I’m going to do anything to save the taxpayers money,” he said. “I’m extremely competent, experienced and trustworthy.”
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG. Dustin Ensinger contributed to this report.