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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Ohio Auditor speaks to University students

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost stopped in Bowling Green to talk at one of the 5,800 public institutions he audits.

The College Republicans hosted Yost in the Union on Wednesday night. Yost, who had meetings in Northwest Ohio this week, including a roundtable at the Bowling Green Sheriff’s office, spoke to a crowd of about 40.

Yost’s office is in charge of auditing the government entities in the state including cities, counties, villages, townships, schools, state universities and public libraries as well as all state agencies, boards and commissions. He is in charge of government finances, special audits and performance audits, or “how to make government skinnier.”

The goal of his office is to make sure public entities are accountable and efficient in spending money, he said.

“Limited government doesn’t mean no government,” he said. “The more money we can save, the better job we can do.”

Yost was elected in 2009 to a four-year term. He’s on the same election cycle as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, meaning he is up for reelection this November.

Recently, Yost participated in the audit of Ohio school districts after the Columbus Dispatch investigated a data scrubbing scandal.

The Dispatch uncovered that Columbus City Schools employees were falsifying students’ records to improve their schools’ standing on state report cards by withdrawing and re-enrolling students.

“We launched a statewide audit to look at the problem and see how widespread it was,” Yost said.

Of the 614 school districts in Ohio, nine were scrubbing data, he said.

Yost embraced the chance to speak to University students, since they are “the future of our state and our country,” he said.

He also wanted to promote communication across party lines, he said. During his talk, he encouraged audience participation, asking them “What’s making you mad?”

“My message is for those that are politically active. If you believe that you’re right, you aren’t going to be threatened by someone who disagrees with you,” he said. “If you argue with a position of conviction, you don’t need to get red in the face and shout, although I’ve been known to do it once or twice.”

The College Republicans hosted Yost as a way to educate students on politics in an off year, said Kyle Keesy, chair of the College Republicans. The group invited students across the University, from majors in criminal justice to political science to accounting.

“We wanted to have meaningful programs for students to engage in,” Keesy said. “Throughout the year we’ll continue to have speakers like the auditor.”

After Yost spoke, two candidates running for at-large city council seats had a chance to promote their respective campaigns.

Incumbent Bob McOmber and newcomer Sandy Milligan, both Republicans, asked for the votes of audience members.

There are two open seats and four candidates. Milligan’s and McOmber’s goal is to take both seats.

“What Sandy and I are trying to do is fairly unprecedented,” McOmber said. “We both need all the help you can give us.”

McOmber, who has been in office for 18 years, is the only Republican on the council.

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