Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak Set to Retire
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — After more than 30 years of managing the county’s funds, Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak plans to retire at the end of this month.
He made his official announcement during Monday evening’s meeting of the Belmont County Democratic Party.
“At the end of the month I’m going to be stepping down as auditor and retiring,” he said, adding that he was retiring due to some health concerns. “I’ll probably be stepping down as treasurer of the party also,” he said.
Sutak has served as the auditor for the county since 1987, and prior to that he had served as the city auditor for Martins Ferry.
He also previously served on Martins Ferry City Council.
“That’s 37 years of service in local government,” he said earlier on Monday. “It’s a long time. Sometimes you get to a point, and you know it’s time. It’s overwhelming.”
Sutak received a standing ovation from those in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
Assistant Public Defender Robert Quark wished Sutak good health and thanked him for his years of service to the county and to Martins Ferry.
“We are sorry you have to leave,” added Phil Wallace, president of the Belmont County Democratic Party. “Your health is first, your family is first and we certainly do appreciate you.”
Sutak has helped see Belmont County through lean times and the hope of prosperity to come.
Up to the latest budget hearing with the county commissioners, he helped plan to cope with decreases in sales tax revenue and the loss of local government funding, as well as prepare for new development such as the possible ethane cracker plant that may be coming to Dilles Bottom.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs. Sales tax, the loss of industry, new developments,” Sutak said.
He said his most positive experiences have been his interactions with his co-workers, employees and the people of Belmont County.
He commended the many commissioners with which he’s served over the years, as well as the various county employees for their efforts in working with the budget.
“It was a partnership with everybody,” he said. “There’ll be challenges going forward, but they’ll be good challenges.”
Under Ohio law, the Belmont County Democratic Party Executive Committee will appoint someone to serve the remainder of Sutak’s term, which ends in March 2019.
Although the committee has 45 days to do so, Wallace expects the process to be completed sooner, possibly within 25 days. He said members will advertise for qualified applicants.
“You’ve got to know figures. … You’ve got to know the job inside and out,” Wallace said. “After we do the appointment, it goes to the election board and then to the state.”
Sutak has recommended Roger Conroy, a longtime staff member of the auditor’s office, to serve as interim auditor until the executive committee appoints a replacement.
“Andy’s been a very loyal boss. He’s been very good to me. Very supportive,” Conroy said. “We’ve worked well together.”
County Recorder Mary Catherine-Nixon said she has worked with Sutak for more than 20 years.
“I love him. He has been my friend forever. Any questions, he has gone out of his way to help me,” she said.
Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas also wished Sutak well and thanked him for his many years of service.
“Andy has always had the county’s fiscal best interests in mind and for that, I applaud his efforts and his willingness to work with the various commission boards I have sat on in over 12 years,” Thomas said. “We have worked well together, reducing county interest rates on debt while too supervising a very conservative and fiscally responsible county budget.”