CELINA — Keith Faber is now officially Ohio’s new auditor.
With family, friends and supporters packing the third-floor courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Faber took the oath of office.
Faber was sworn in Saturday by Mary Pat Zitter, the Mercer County common pleas court judge, juvenile probate division.
“It’s time to start working on the things we said we would work on in the campaign. We’ve been at it for the last couple of weeks already, building a great team. We’ve assembled one of the best teams that I think I’ve seen in a state constitutional office, other than a governor, and we’re looking forward to doing good things,” said Faber.
Faber is ready to hit the ground running and is already looking at his priorities.
“The current budget situation isn’t positive. We knew that coming in. No negative mention to Dave Yost [the previous state auditor], but frankly the last budget cut the staff allocations by about 3 and 1/2 percent, and so we’ve got to make up for that in the next six months. I think we’re able to do that, and then going forward, the first thing we’ve got to do is get our budget submissions in. We want to do it without increasing the cost of the people we audit. We’re going to try real hard to do that,” said Faber.
Faber, a Republican from Mercer County, acknowledges partisan politics has no place in the auditor’s office.
“It’s not a Republican or a Democrat position, it’s a position working for Bob and Betty Buckeye, and your job is to make sure that government works effectively, efficiently and transparently. It doesn’t matter if the officeholder you are auditing is Republican, Independent or Democrat, you audit them all to the same standards and you expect transparency and accountability,” said Faber.
Faber has served in both the Ohio House and Senate and wouldn’t speculate if he has aspirations for an even higher office than that of auditor.
“I’ve got to do this job and do it well, and then we can have that conversation in the future. I’ve enjoyed being in the legislature. As I said, I’m not running for the auditor’s office to be a super-legislator or to run for some other office, I’m running for the auditor’s office because it’s the place you go to make government work better,” Faber added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409