The man now in charge of Delaware's finances says his job is about more than dollar figures.

"The reward of the job is public service," said Justin Nahvi, director of Delaware's finance department. "We see a direct impact the (city's) financial administration has on the community."

Examples, he said, include capital planning that leads to the development of a utility plant or increased staffing -- which, in turn, improves safety for city residents.

The finance department plays a vital role in helping the administration develop projects, he said, with overall community improvement the goal.

Nahvi was named finance director effective Jan. 21. He succeeds Dean Stelzer, who held the post for 30 years.

Nahvi had served as Marysville's finance director since 2016. He'll earn $124,000 a year in Delaware.

Marysville and Delaware are similar because they both are what Nahvi calls full-service communities.

Each has fire and police departments, collects taxes, maintains utilities and handles the billing for those utilities, he said.

Not all municipalities have those features, he said.

Both cities have similar accounting procedures, which are spelled out by the Ohio Revised Code and other federal and state regulations, he said.

In addition, both Delaware and Marysville are experiencing growth, Nahvi said.

Marysville and Union County are in an economic boom that began when the Great Recession ended in the late 2000s, he said.

He also said the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission predicts central Ohio -- including Delaware and Union counties -- will see its population increase by a million residents by 2050.

Marysville also has fees similar to the impact fees Delaware charges to help meet the rising cost of city services as its population grows, Nahvi said.

Stelzer previously said Delaware's impact fees are one-time charges placed on new construction, setting aside money for capital costs related to services.

The money may be used only for permanent facilities and not operation costs, Stelzer said.

City Manager Tom Homan said Nahvi came "highly recommended" and will be a good fit in the city.

"His experience as finance director at Marysville, which is a similar full-service and growing city like Delaware, was a major consideration in this appointment," Homan said.

Nahvi, a CPA with master's degree from Ohio Dominican University, helped lead Marysville's implementation of a software system that links business processes, communication and data among city departments.

Delaware will begin a similar initiative this year, said city spokesman Lee Yoakum.

Nahvi said Delaware would embark on a process taking about three years to switch to software integrating all municipal operations, including payroll, accounts payable and receivable, utilities and similar functions.

That length of time is needed, he said, to transfer current data to the new system in stages.

The software will be provided by Munis, which calls its software an enterprise resource planning solution for government agencies and schools.

"When it goes into effect," Nahvi said, "water and sewer systems customers will have a nice platform online to pay bills."

The system also will improve administrative efficiency and allow the city to accommodate growth without increasing its staff, he said.

Nahvi said he joined the city two weeks before Stelzer departed, and Stelzer "had great historical background on any topic we discussed."

City employees and City Council members also have been helpful to Nahvi during the transition, he said.

"My impression is the city of Delaware is well-managed operationally and financially. My goal is to maintain that service for the community," he said.

"Thanks to the financial department, we maintain customer service to the city departments and the taxpayers."

Nahvi and his wife, Denise, live in Marysville and have three children: Ethan, 11; Ellery, 7; and Evan, 2.

He earlier worked in finance and accounting positions with the Upper Arlington Public Library, the Office of the Ohio Treasurer and in Franklin County government.

On April 1, Stelzer will start a new job with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

"We'll be combining the previously vacated finance manager and director of administration (positions) with the hire of Stelzer, "Sheriff Russell Martin said. "Dean will continue to help us manage the stewardship of our budget while helping us plan for the future."

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