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County Controller

As the County's top elected fiscal officer, the County Controller is responsible to the taxpayers to protect their tax dollars from fraud, waste and misuse in County government. The Controller is responsible for maintaining efficient and equitable spending, in the process of making County government more transparent and accountable to the taxpayers. The Controller's Office maintains a continuous audit and prepares an annual post-audit of County revenues and accounts. Special internal audits are conducted as the Controller deems necessary or as requested by other elected officials. Reports of fraud, waste, or misuse of County funds or property may be made anonymously to the Controller's Office. The Controller will investigate all reports and take appropriate action to maintain the integrity of County monies.

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  • Candidate picture

    Kyle Foust
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Mary Schaaf
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

Why are you running for office?

What are your plans for your first 100 days in office and what do you hope to accomplish?

Why should a voter select you instead of your opponent/s?

Telephone 814-218-3407
Education Graduated with a EdD from Duquesne in 2009, Graduated with a MA in Social Sciences from Edinboro University in 2001, Completed Elementary Education certification from Edinboro University in 1993, Graduated in 1989 from Mercyhurst College with a BA in Social Science Education and a minor in Political Science
Employment History Employed full-time as a Career/Academic Advising professional at Mercyhurst University from1995-2018
Qualifications 16 years of service on Erie County Council (2004-Present) and 8 years of service on the Retirement Board.
Facebook Foust for Controller
Endorsements International Association of Firefighters, AFSCME Council 13, Executive Board of the Erie County Retirees’ Association, Operating Engineers 66, Keystone Mountain Lakes Carpenters, Laborers Local 603, Great Lakes Building Trades, Sheet Metal Workres, Local #12, IBEW, IUPAT, Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council
Municipality Harborcreek
I believe that a spirit of trust, respect, and cooperation needs to be implemented by the Controller's Office as they work with employees. The number one job of the Controller is to help County Departments operate more efficiently. Without the proper level of trust, employees will not interface with the Controller's Office and, unfortunately, that has been the case for far too long. I also believe that my experience with CityGrows, advising governments how they can become more efficient using technology can be implemented within Erie County government to save money.
I plan to review all audits currently underway and meet with every department head to assure them that a new system of operation/dialogue will be put into place in the Controller's Office. From my first day forward, employees with will be treated with the respect they deserve as we all work together to make Erie County government more effective and efficient every day. I also plan to reestablish an open dialogue with the Finance Department.
I believe I have an unmatched track record of fairness and independence as a member of Erie County Council. I want to establish a culture of trust and cooperation with all County Departments. It is the only way the tax dollars can be protected from waste, fraud, and abuse. I will not serve to make headlines in the newspaper that accomplishes nothing. I will work to help employees become more efficient and accountable to the public on a daily basis.

As a member of the retirement board, I have supported initiatives that have doubled the size of the fund while at the same time reducing the risk of the investments.
Telephone 8147461049
Website https://www.votemaryschaaf.com
Education Mercyhurst University B.A. Math & Education; Edinboro University Master's Degree Administration; Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania
Employment History Erie County Controller 2012 - current; Merrill Lynch, 1977 - 2010 Senior Financial Advisor, Pension Consultant, Portfolio Performance Measurement Specialist; Registered Investment Advisor; Registered Representative NYSE.
Qualifications Financial Expertise - 8 years Erie County Controller; Secretary & voting member Erie County Employees' Retirement Board; 33 Years Senior Financial Advisor & Pension Performance Specialist; Wharton School of Finance Certification in Pension Portfolio Performance Measurement; Member American Association of Fraud Examiners; Member Pennsylvania Association of County Controllers
Municipality Erie County PA
I am the independent, nonpartisan watchdog dedicated to protecting Erie County tax payer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse. Since taking office in 2012, I have saved $6,000,000 of Erie County tax payer dollars through my audits and investigations. I want to be re-elected to save even more money for the taxpayers and citizens of Erie County PA.
I will complete : the first year audit of the $2.8 million of the SmartEdge contact by analyzing Erie County's utility bills to insure the County receives the $240,000 per savings promised; Complete my audit of the $26 million 911 Radio Project expenses per contract to verify compliance; Coordinate with the Sheriff, District Attorney, District Magistrate, Public Defender, Clerk of Courts and Court Administrator to submit expenses incurred for Albion Inmate Trials in Erie County Court of Common Pleas for reimbursement by PA Department of Corrections; Audit Erie County Pension, as Board Secretary, prepare meeting minutes and agenda for quarterly Erie County Employees' Pension Board meeting in February, meet with Pension Consultant regarding Pension returns for 2019 and action needed to improve performance; Prepare 2019 Annual Controller's Office Audit Report to present to Council and the public; Investigate all Fraud reports received by phone or online fraud hotline.

I have a proven track record as Erie County Controller of saving tax payers $6,000,000 from fraud waste and abuse since taking office in 2012. I have used my 33 years of financial expertise and pension experience to stop pension spiking and unnecessary third party fees resulting in tax savings as well as recouping over $200,000 through representing Erie County in securities litigation. I have been proactive in obtaining $50,000 reimbursement from the PA Department of Corrections and a $125,000 settlement from the Prison inmate medical vendor. I initiated an anonymous online fraud hotline and Whistleblower Protection Policy as well as investigated over 120 fraud reports. I have implemented new fiscal policies and controls in inventory and purchasing to protect County monies. I remain dedicated to doing my job as the independent, nonpartisan watchdog who works only for Erie County taxpayers and citizens by demanding accountability and transparency for every County expenditure