DAYTON — Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith received the 2016 Ohio Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Lifetime Achievement Award for his many achievements throughout his extensive career in public finance.
The award recognizes individuals for their service to the public with honesty and integrity throughout their careers, according to the Ohio GFOA.
Keith received the award at the annual Ohio GFOA conference. The award was presented to him by Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s Hospital. Feldman worked with Keith in Montgomery County government for 30 years, including 15 years as county administrator.
“Karl and I literally grew up in county government together,” Feldman said. “As county administrator I had a first row seat to watch Karl handle difficulties with integrity, honesty and compassion.”
Keith’s career in government finance has spanned 35 years. His career began as an examiner with the Ohio Auditor of State in the Dayton regional officer before serving eight years in the Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office. He left the Treasurer’s Office in 1991 to accept the position of chief deputy auditor in the Auditor’s Office. He served in that position until 2000 when he was appointed county auditor to fill a vacancy. He has subsequently been elected auditor four consecutive terms, in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. As county auditor, Keith serves as the county’s chief fiscal officer.
“I consider myself fortunate to be associated with the Ohio GFOA and to work with government finance officers who are eager to embrace new ideas and new approaches to improve how we serve the public,” Keith said.
Keith’s record of public service shows his dedication to accountability, government efficiency and innovation.
During his time in the county treasurer’s office, Keith saved Montgomery County millions of dollars used a creative approach to finance a $22 million county water project. He financed the project using variable rate bonds, making Montgomery County the first public sector entity in the country to utilize the bonds and earning the county a National Association of Counties Achievement Award.
As county auditor, Keith was able to reduce the cost of completing the sexennial countywide property revaluation in 2014 by $400,000 from the previous cycle by using state of the art digital imaging technology.
Keith has used other technological innovations to make government information more easily available to taxpayers. Keith put the county’s expenditures online in a searchable, centralized database on OhioCheckbook.com in August. In 2014, Keith created the first county real estate mobile application in Ohio to provide roaming access to the Auditor Office’s real estate database.
Keith’s award is the latest of numerous awards the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office has received for its detailed accounting and thorough financial reporting work under Keith’s leadership. Montgomery County has received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year for the past twenty years. Montgomery County has also received the Auditor of State’s award for excellence in financial reporting.