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October 11, 2011

MELISSA MACKEY

Staff Writer

Two candidates are seeking the office of Liberty Township fiscal officer, with the winner beginning the term April 1.

Both longtime township residents, incumbent Mark Gerber, 64, and former Liberty trustee Peggy Guzzo, 46, are on the ballot Nov. 8.

Mark Gerber, a 16-year Liberty Township resident, is finishing his first term as fiscal officer and wants to continue that work in a second term.

If re-elected, Gerber’s priorities are continuing what has already been done.

“I believe I have an incredibly strong track record as fiscal officer of Liberty Township, and I stand on that record,” Gerber said.

Gerber points to a long list of accomplishments in the fiscal office that are listed on the township’s website, that include computerizing the township’s financial record keeping and reducing health insurance costs.

Gerber said the audits have come back clean since he took office in April 2008.

Gerber was the runner-up in the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Year by Columbus Business First, in which nominations are submitted to four judges to be considered for demonstration of financial management, strategic thinking and contributions to the organization’s reputation.

Gerber founded a financial analysis and electricity market price forecasting firm in 1979 called M.S. Gerber & Associates, Inc., serving as the chief executive officer and the CFO until selling the company to an international firm in 2004.

Gerber earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree and doctorate in nuclear engineering from The Ohio State University.

Gerber is married to his wife, Carole, and they have two grown daughters, Paige and Jess, and two grandchildren.

Peggy Guzzo, a 15-year Liberty Township resident, is a Delaware County native and is running because she thinks current fiscal officer Mark Gerber is not following policy.

Currently, a law school student at Capital University graduating in May, Guzzo said her experience in previously elected positions and her schooling in dispute resolution and small business entities, including accounting, labor and employment law lends to the fiscal officer position.

“I care about my community, and I don’t like government waste,” Guzzo said. “I love serving the community.”

Guzzo said her work as an elected official in Powell and Liberty has shown that she knows what to do to get the job done. She said she is running for the office for a number of reasons that include conducting an internal audit, providing a detailed accounting of tax dollars, bringing the fiscal office into compliance and saving the township money by taking meeting minutes herself.

If elected, Guzzo said she will also work to make the fiscal office as transparent as possible by updating the website in real time and posting audio from trustee meetings.

A former Liberty Township trustee, Guzzo also served as a Powell city councilwoman. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in marketing from The Ohio State University.

Guzzo has been married to Vince for 23 years, and they have two children, Jade and Jacob, both students at Olentangy Liberty High School. Her website is GuzzoForOffice.com.