Kelich is sworn in

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Katherine J. Kelich, formerly Kelich-Curfman, was sworn in as Belmont County Treasurer Friday by Common Pleas Judge John M. Solovan. She succeeded Joseph A. Guadio, who has served as treasurer since 1988.

Kelich’s term officially begins Sept. 2. She is the first woman elected to serve as treasurer. She was elected during the 2012 November election. She ran unopposed in the general election after securing the Democratic nomination in the March primary.

However, due to a provision in Ohio law, all newly elected county treasurers must wait nearly 10 months to take office due to the state’s method of collecting property taxes, which are billed one year in arrears.

The law calls for sitting treasurers to complete the tax collection process for the previous year before they leave office.

Kelich brings experience to the office, having worked as Chief Deputy Treasurer since Jan. 2013.

“He was able to hire me, knowing that I would be the incoming treasurer. It would give me the opportunity to go through their delinquent tax collections and both tax collections,” she said. “Having the opportunity to work in the office, go through a tax season, work with the staff and learn from Joe has been great.

“Joe and I have worked hard with our staff to prepare for the transition. We’re ready, and I’m excited to get to work.”

Kelich said she hoped to expand on Guadio’s excellent management.

“Joe Guadio was a phenomenal treasurer, so he actually kept that office very well intact. he’s done absolutely everything to the letter of the law,” she said, adding that she hopes to obtain better rates on the county’s investments.

The department will also work with people to help them become more current on their taxes.”

She added that the county will also see an increase on taxes collected through oil and gas extraction.

“We don’t expect anything until probably 2015 (collected in tax year 2014),” she said.

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