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Dunlap challenging Tkach in auditor race

Cary Ashby • Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 7:35 AM

The way Roland Tkach sees his job as the Huron County auditor, the focus is on serving the public.

“I work for you. It’s all about customer service,” said the Democrat, serving his 12th year as auditor. “I have experience and I believe I have a record of good customer service.” 

If he doesn’t have the answer when someone asks him a question, Tkach said he will do the research to find that information and/or find the person who does.

Tkach faces Republican challenger Tom Dunlap, a former Huron County sheriff and commissioner, in the Nov. 6 election.

Dunlap said he wants to see more cooperation and collaboration between the auditor’s office and Huron County commissioners “to better serve the financial needs of the taxpayers of this county.” He added “there is none” presently and the cooperation and collaboration that’s being done is what’s dictated by the Ohio Revised Code.

The job responsibilities of being auditor include: Value assessment of real estate, being the chief financial officer and overseeing weights and measures, the revenue side of the county budget and the tax map department, which handles plats and real estate transfers.

“I do a lot more than crunch numbers,” said Tkach, who also envisions the auditor’s job as being a “paymaster and “bill-payer.” 

Tkach considers himself “a student of the Ohio Revised Code.”

“That’s what guides us in all we do,” said Tkach, who believes experience in finances and real estate is important to being the county auditor.

Dunlap said the elected auditor has an obligation to work with the commissioners and other office-holders to handle the financial planning. He served one term as a commissioner, from 2012 through 2016. For two of those years, Dunlap was on the board of revision, which settles disputes of land valuation.

Since 66 to 70 percent of the overall county budget is dictated by the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), he said in reality that only leaves about 30 percent “to move things around and make the offices efficient.”

“There is no rocket science to it,” added Dunlap, who noted the day-to-day operations of the auditor’s office are mandated by the ORC.

Dunlap, a lifelong Huron County resident, graduated from New London High School. He studied agriculture at EHOVE Career Center.

He received his teaching certificate from The University of Toledo and was commissioned as a peace and corrections officer and in private security through the Ohio Peace Officers Academy. He also has commander and instructor certification in all three areas.

Dunlap spent a majority of his career in law enforcement. From 1974 through 1984, he was a Huron County sheriff’s deputy and next, was elected sheriff for one term, from 1984 through 1989. 

In addition, Dunlap was a Bellevue police officer from 1990 through 1992. After that, he was the commander of the EHOVE police academy until 2012.

“During that time, I worked part time for the Milan and New London police departments,” said Dunlap, who was a Monroeville officer for a brief time.

Tkach has been the auditor since March 5, 2007. He defeated Will Lewis in the 2006 general election, Bob Patusky in the 2010 election and was unapposed in 2014.

Just prior to being elected auditor the first time, Tkach served as the Huron County treasurer from 2002 through March 2007 — a term and a half. He stepped down from the position and was elected auditor, replacing John Emlinger, who retired after serving the county for many years.

A Western Reserve High School gradate, Tkach is a Hartland Township resident who has lived in the Norwalk area all his life. 

“I grew up in Wakeman Township,” he said.

Tkach earned his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University with a major in political science and a minor in economics. He worked for Household Finance and is a graduate of its management training program. For 16 years, Tkach worked for Industrial Savings & Loan in Norwalk, which is now called Home Savings. He oversaw mortgages and was the branch manager. Tkach also is a graduate of the Ohio Savings & Loan Academy.

“I enjoy my job,” Tkach said about being the county auditor. “My love for the work is a good match with my skills and abilities.

“I still enjoy the day-to-day challenges of the work. More than anything, I find great satisfaction in helping people of Huron County who use our services.”

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