Beaufort County auditor candidate profile: Jim Beckert
Political party: Republican
Office: Beaufort County auditor
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: 23 years
Family: Wife, Christy; two school-age children
Education: University of Cincinnati
Current occupation/employer: Founder and manager of Pinpoint Document Solutions Inc.
Employment, military and volunteer history: Director of human resources at Beaufort Memorial Hospital; manager of human resources student recruitment and job placement, Cincinnati Job Corps; retired U.S. Army reservist
Public offices held: Beaufort County Board of Education District 4, 2012 to present
Unsuccessful bids for public office: None
Other prior political and government experience: None
Key endorsements you've received: Gene and Beth Grace, Ron Voegeli, Angel Flewelling, Roberts Vaux, Julie Bell, Rick Caporale, Jennifer Tuckwiller, Jay Holloway, Aileen Young, JoAnn Orischak, Rob Bridgers, Lynn Norton, Lisa Myers, John Tuckwiller, Joel Myers, Libby Holloway, Brian Flewelling
Campaign contributions: $700
Campaign expenditures: $3,468.27
Biggest contributor: Jim Beckert, $600
Why should people vote for you?
I am a business and community leader on the outside of county government. I will restore the three-office checks and balance system to our county government. With a career full of business and community leadership experience, I will manage the Auditor's Office like a business, focused on serving. I will implement a strategic plan with goals and objectives with timelines for improving the following areas: customer service, accuracy of tax bills, streamlining the bureaucratic process and opening communications with the public to address their concerns. Above all else, I will be accountable and transparent to the public.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?
The first issue is to restore the checks and balance system to county government. I will be a strong, independent auditor, protecting the interest of the voters/taxpayers. I will reach out to all the taxing authorities, providing them with current taxable property information to improve their accuracy in requesting a millage rate to support their budget.
Secondly, I will improve office communications with the public to reduce the surprise of unpaid taxes or changes in tax status when dealing with property and title changes. This will include meeting regularly with taxpayers, attorneys, bankers and real estate groups to learn about the challenges they face, explain how the auditor can improve the process and provide feedback.
Another issue is to streamline department software processes by having at least two trained employees that can write and run reports to reduce human-entry errors, speed up responsiveness, improve employee efficiency and work with the assessor and treasurer to build and maintain an efficient assessing, auditing and depositing process.
What other issues do you see as important?
As a taxpayer advocate, I will work to streamline how and why we do our jobs, thereby improving customer service and efficiency. Every employee should be asking themselves what they can do to improve the process for every taxpayer each day.
The Auditor's Office is the front line of service, and we have to always be on top of our mission to serve. I bring a business approach with new performance expectations of working with purposeful intention to solve problems, by listening to the customer, asking questions to clarify, then presenting solutions.
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
I will have regularly scheduled hours that taxpayers can count on at all three office locations to answer questions and address concerns.
The website will be transparent and more interactive, with links to common taxpayer questions and online services for taxpayers to access the process to complete required paperwork at their convenience -- anytime, anywhere.
Look to expand hours with alternative work schedules for taxpayers to come in before or after work.
I will meet regularly with the public, business groups and real estate professionals to report on the progress of the strategic plan, discuss the results from changes made, list accomplishments and seek input on other areas that need improvement.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you?
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
Boy Scouts takes a large part of my free time. I see a huge benefit for Scouts to learn life lessons about integrity and leadership while having fun outdoors. I have a life long passion of coin collecting and enjoy helping others understand the value of coins they have.