Pickerington Times-Sun

Former city councilman named Violet fiscal officer

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The Violet Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted 3-0 to approve Brian Sauer as the township's new Fiscal Officer at a special meeting on February 28.

Sauer, a former Pickerington City Councilman, replaces Chris Smith, who vacated his position Jan. 31 to pursue other opportunities.

Sauer was chosen over seven other applicants, all township residents as required by law, after a month-long interview process.

"We interviewed six, we had applications from eight," said Harry Myers Jr., a township trustee.

"We felt that Brian was the best candidate for the township," he said.

Violet Township Director of Operations Bill Yaple will continue as deputy fiscal officer, a position to which he was appointed Jan. 22 to help administer the township's finances upon Smith's departure.

Yaple is preparing to officially retire from all township duties March 31.

Sauer previously served on Pickerington City Council from 2008 until July 2013, when he was compelled to vacate his seat because he moved from the city corporation into an unincorporated area of Violet Township.

A residency clause in the Pickerington City Charter mandates that sitting council members are obligated to live within the city's boundaries.

Sauer will start his job as Violet Township's Fiscal Officer immediately. He said a desire to serve prompted his decision to apply for the position.

"Primarily, I wanted to give back to a community that I grew up with and that has been good to me," he said.

Sauer will serve the remainder of Smith's unexpired term, until March 31, 2016. If he wishes to retain the seat for another four-year term, he will have to run in the November 2015 election.

He said his background as an analytics consultant for business intelligence and as chairman of Pickerington City Council's Finance Committee in 2010 will serve him well in his new role. He is also past treasurer of the Fairfield County Republican Party.

Improving communications between the various township departments will be "a high priority," Sauer said.

"I also would like to update the technology within the office so we can do our job better and more efficiently," he said.

One way to do so is by utilizing remote applications so processing payments, budgeting and bookkeeping can be done off-site by tapping into a secure remote network.

"Now, everything that flows between departments is 'local' so if I'm on vacation, I'm not able to tap into (the database) remotely, I have to physically be in the office to look it up," Sauer said.

Compensation for a fiscal officer's position is based on the annual budget of a township, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Because Violet Township's annual budget exceeds $10 million, Sauer will receive an annual salary of $28,176 in 2014.

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