CIRCLEVILLE - Melissa Betz was sworn in Wednesday for her fifth term as Pickaway County Auditor in a ceremony performed by Judge P. Randall Knece in the Court of Common Pleas.
"As we start through this next term, we will face some things in a four-year process that maybe we haven't in the past," Betz said prior to the ceremony. "We just want to continue to grow the office and be more accessible to the public."
Keeping up with technology is one of her major goals, she said, which includes things like software upgrades, frequently updating the auditor's web site and updating photography and aerial photography as often as funding will allow.
"Apart from that, my staff and I want to continue doing a great job and continue providing great customer service," Betz said.
Her staff includes Lisa Burroughs, Amy Cooper, Marsha Few, Elaine Follis, Michelle Hamman, Mark Perrill and Mary Rhoades, who were sworn in as deputy auditors at Wednesday's ceremony.
Betz was recently appointed to serve on the 2015 Statewide Executive Committee of the County Auditors' Association of Ohio representing the southwest district. The committee works closely with the Administration and General Assembly to monitor and suggest legislative proposals that impact local taxpayers and to encourage policies that positively impact county government.
"We will be on the ground floor of legislation and have a voice in things that may affect county auditors all over the state," she said. "I will be a voice here in Pickaway County for that."
She also was recently honored with the Distinguished County Auditor award from the County Auditors' Association of Ohio in recognition of completing 100 or more hours of continuing education during her term in office. Her training covered topics such as recent trends in real property value, financial audits, budget commission and tax levies, as well as two mandatory classes in ethics and substance abuse.
Betz became emotional a few times during Wednesday's ceremony, particularly when expressing her appreciation for the support of her family, friends and staff.
"This election was hard on my family," she said. "I never would have made it through this past year if not for all of you."
First elected to the office in 1999, Betz's new four-year term will begin March 9.