Upper Arlington News

UA councilman seeking Franklin County auditor's seat

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An Upper Arlington City Council member and attorney with ties to the real estate and insurance markets will make a run for the Franklin County Auditor's Office this November.

Democrat Mike Schadek, who was elected to Upper Arlington City Council in 2011, will seek to unseat current Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo this fall.

Schadek said last week he not only brings public office experience to the table, but he's a licensed attorney and has business know-how, as he's a partner with the independent long-term care insurance brokerage firm of LTC Financial Partners.

"I want to use all my experiences and put them to use in the county auditor's office because the auditor's office, really more than any office, impacts everybody," he said. "I think I bring a wealth and depth of knowledge."

In addition to his professional and public-sector work, Schadek and his wife, Debbie, have published Open House & Dream Homes Magazine, which features central Ohio real estate professionals and builders, for the past 20 years.

The couple has two sons, Jack, a freshman at Upper Arlington High School, and Sam, who is a seventh-grader at Jones Middle School.

Schadek earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and served as an intern with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa.

"I was able to live with (Tutu) for two weeks and that really profoundly changed my outlook that one person can make a difference," Schadek said.

In addition to his personal and professional experiences, which he said includes management of employees and balancing public dollars with services, Schadek said he would improve office accountability and transparency if he is elected county auditor.

Schadek said property valuations done by the auditor's office have been consistently challenged and the property-valuation appeals process is too lengthy.

"We've had a record number of appeals in the past three years," Schadek said. "It's actually been more than any other county in the state. I think we need an increased emphasis and focus on fair and accurate valuations.

"Also, it takes up to a year for the appeals process," Schadek said. "If someone disagrees with their valuation, we need to increase the speed of the appeals process."

While the seats on Upper Arlington City Council are nonpartisan, Schadek noted he is a Democrat who has worked in a bipartisan fashion with numerous Republicans during his tenure.

He said that's important, because Republicans have served as Franklin County auditors for decades.

"It's been 72 years since there's been a Democrat in the Franklin County Auditor's Office," he said. "This is a real opportunity to bring people together.

"I think I've demonstrated with my work on (Upper Arlington's) city council ... that I'm able to work with Republicans. It's time for some new ideas and a new direction in the auditor's office."

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