SOUTH BEND -- For the first time since 1979, Joseph F. Nagy
will enter a new year while not holding an elected public office.
...During the transition period at the beginning of last year, Dvorak recalled that former Prosecutor Chris Toth praised Nagy and talked about how valuable the then-auditor was in helping the prosecutor's office with budgetary matters.
"The only elected official he talked about was Joe Nagy
," Dvorak said.
accepted the offer and turned the auditor's office over to Michael Eby, who had been scheduled to begin his own term Jan. 1.
Now 57, Nagy
has spent most of his
adult life in local government service.His
first job was in the South Bend city controller's office under then-Mayor Jerry J. Miller in 1972.Nagy eventually became city auditor and then fiscal officer for public works when Miller was succeeded as mayor by Peter J. Nemeth.
...In 1978, Nagy was elected as auditor and would have begun the job in 1980 had it not been for the resignation of then-Auditor Eugene Basker and his replacement by Nagy in March 1979.
"I've been very fortunate in many ways," Nagy
says of that service.Nagy
is proud of the people he
has hired or promoted over the years, particularly Chief Deputy Auditor John Lentz and current County Commissioner Cindy Bodle.Bodle had been a clerk in the auditor's office when Nagy took over and asked her to be his secretary.
Another former clerk under Nagy
, the late Wanda Nowak, went on to win election as county recorder.
...While sheriff, Nagy promoted Frank Canarecci, the current sheriff, to the position of assistant chief.
said it is unlikely that he
will ever again seek public office.
"You never say never," he
conceded, adding that he
has "nothing in mind" in terms of seeking another office.
"I truly enjoy what I'm doing," Nagy
said.Nagy said the only other job that would interest him would be serving as county executive, a position that does not currently exist.There has been discussion over the years about replacing the three county commissioners with a single county executive, a move that would require legislative action, "but it's not going to happen," Nagy said, at least not in the five to seven years he expects to continue working in local government.
Looking back at his
enjoyed being sheriff but much preferred being auditor, a job he
sees as being at the hub of local government."All finances come through there," he
Had it not been for term limits, Nagy
would have run again for auditor.
has no regrets."I'm happy working for Mike (Dvorak)," he said.