Retired auditor seeks Perry fiscal position


PERRY TWP. — Retired township resident John Volio said he wants to use his 32 years of experience as an auditor for the state of Ohio to put the township’s financial house back in order by serving as fiscal officer.

The 66-year-old lifelong resident of Perry Township and Salem announced his candidacy for the elected position Thursday after filing petitions with the Columbiana County Board of Elections. Volio has attended some recent trustee meetings regarding a flooding issue on Stewart Road and had been considering a run for trustee, but then thought his expertise could be more helpful in the position of fiscal officer.

Volio served under four different state auditors during his 32-year career with the Auditor of the State of Ohio, working his way up from the bottom. A 1971 graduate of Salem High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Ashland College and had a brief career with the Columbiana County Board of Education before joining the state auditor’s staff.

“Beginning as an assistant auditor, I was promoted to the position of Senior Audit Manager, managing ten employees, split into three separate audit teams. Our audit clients included county governments, school districts, libraries, city, village and township governing authorities,” he said in a press release.

During a phone interview, he said he knows how to set up internal controls even with a smaller setup like a township, saying that’s his forte.

In his press release, he outlined some recent issues with the township operation related to finances, including a recent audit report and management letter issued by the state auditor’s office.

He wrote “the township was cited for misposting restricted funds and failure to follow the minimum level of budgetary control for the township’s appropriations. The management letter also recommended the township develop and implement an effective monitoring and control system that would provide assurance the financial statements and bank reconciliations are reviewed monthly by the trustees and when satisfied as to their accuracy, approve them through the minutes. There has yet to be any formal reply or public explanation as to why proper procedures were not being followed by the fiscal officer.”

He also wrote: “Now there are even more alarming reports that the Perry Township general fund is being depleted at an alarming rate with virtually no oversight by the fiscal officer. Despite repeated requests by the Perry Township trustees, the fiscal officer has failed to supply monthly financial reports, as well as monthly bank reconciliations to the trustees. This information is imperative for the trustees to make fiscally sound decisions. It has also become public knowledge that the Perry Township fiscal officer has not properly and timely applied township employees’ deferred compensation to their respective state supplemental retirement funds, aside from exposing the township to potential legal action over this, it is clearly unjust to the affected employees.”

Volio said he would also try to get trustees and department heads involved in running their own departments, knowing what money they have available. He said the police chief should know what’s in his budget.

“With my extensive career in public sector auditing, not only will I commit to conducting the office in accordance with state audit standards, I will do so in a transparent manner, something which has been lacking at the Perry Township fiscal officer’s post for too long. I do not need another career in seeking this post. Rather, I look at this as a calling to public service at a time and place where it is sorely needed,” he wrote in the press release.

Volio said this is his first run for public office, although he did say he applied for a party appointment for Columbiana County treasurer at one time and didn’t get it.

He and his wife Vicki together have three sons and five grandchildren. He’s also a musician who performs locally.

The position of Perry Township fiscal officer is currently held by Susan Johnston, who’s been in the position for many years. Her four-year term expires at the end of this year.