DP&L to stick with planned June 2018 plant closings Preventing identity theft during tax season 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week to prepare for AIR Testing Humane Society holding Radio Auction April 19-21 Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg

Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat

Diane Ward
Diane Ward

Ward promises to end wasteful spending –

Story by Patricia Beech – 

Adams County voters will be asked to choose between four candidates bidding for seats on the Board of Commissioners in the Nov. 8 election. Among them is Republican Teresa Diane Ward who is challenging Democrat Paul Worley for his seat at the Commissioner’s table.
The People’s Defender asked several questions of both candidates providing them an opportunity to speak directly to the voters. Below are Ward’s thoughts on why she should be elected to serve on the Board of Commissioners.
Why are you the best candidate for county commissioner and how will you make a difference in Adams County over the next four years if elected?
Ward: My candidacy is based on career experience and knowledge serving as the Franklin Township Fiscal Officer for 24 years, Assistant Clerk of the Adams County Board of Commissioners for five years, and over seven years as the Clerk of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. I have had countless trainings during my township and county career in the areas of Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, human resources, property and liability insurance risk, appropriations and budgetary, Ohio Sunshine Law, safety council, records retention, FAA grants and reporting, Ohio Public Employees Retirement, etc. I have experience in grant writing and reporting.
I have a background in business and accounting through Southern State Community College. I received the Ohio Financial Accountability Certification offered through Auditor of State Jim Petro which was developed in cooperation with the Government Finance Officers Association. I have served as the Adams County Human Resources Director, the Adams County Veterans Commission interim fiscal officer, the Adams County EMS interim administrator and DEA Coordinator from April 30, 2016 through October 30, 2016 (without compensation), County Loss Control Coordinator, Drug-Free Workplace Coordinator, Safety Council Coordinator, BWC Retro Group Coordinator, County Risk Sharing Authority representative, and have held the prestigious position of Southwest Director of Ohio for the County Loss Coordinator Association in affiliation with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio since 2012. I have also served on the Adams County Trustee and Fiscal Officers Association board and have worked closely with the Ohio Township Association.
I am committed to open government with fiscal integrity and accountability to ensure good stewardship of your local tax dollars. I have always been a proponent of the Ohio Revised Code and the open government processes through the Ohio Sunshine Law. I have always had a good working relationship with the Ohio Auditor of State examiners and I am not afraid to report illegal activities or the blatant disregard of the Ohio Revised Code. I do not approve of allowing someone’s opinion to supplant the Ohio Revised Code.
I have also been actively involved in our family business, Ward Construction, for over 37 years. I am knowledgeable of the laws and regulations pertaining to the building industry in both public and private sectors.
This county needs a leader that is not afraid to address problems head on instead of ignoring them or sweeping them under the rug for months, even years in fear of offending a political proponent or another elected official. Adams County is unfortunately managed on a weekly basis with Special and Emergency Sessions rarely utilized to address issues in a timely manner. It’s time the board members actually put the county first as an elected official instead of establishing meetings around their personal schedules. Commissioners are elected to serve on an “on call” basis, not at their own convenience. Adams County constituents deserve public officials that put them first, work for the betterment of the county, and are servants of the people instead of self-serving. I hope to bring a higher level of responsibility to the Board of Commissioners by addressing county issues in a timely manner, abiding by the the Ohio Revised Code, networking with my contacts through the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, eliminating wasteful spending, courageously addressing the issue of misuse of funds, and restoring openness and transparency to the office. I will be a voice for all constituents, not just a select group.
Defender: What is your assessment of the county’s overall financial position? Where do the biggest threats to the county’s financial stability lie?
Ward: I am not pleased with the county’s overall financial position as a whole. There are some departments that have sufficient funding to operate, while other funds struggle. County General has the biggest strain due to all of the mandated services that are required to be provided to the public, yet your Commissioners office has allowed flagrant spending by purchasing expensive prints and frames, bottled water service for the board of commissioners when there is a water cooler in the hall, a framed print listing of the past and present Board of Commissioner members that cannot be updated with pictures of new members and their names, expensive gold-embossed folders for proclamations, and $25,000 payments over the last three years to the Adams County Travelers and Visitors Bureau that should have never been permitted.
The EMS levy fund is another concern. The Board of Commissioners has paid out over $804,000 over the last two years of EMS levy funds to supplement the County General 9-1-1 Dispatch department instead of utilizing the funds to ensure proper coverage and operations of your Adams County EMS. The system is broken because your EMS levy is funding 81% of the $495,000 operational cost of the 9-1-1 Dispatch. This levy money is for EMS use only; it was not established to pay for 9-1-1 Dispatch for the Sheriff’s Department, village police departments, and all of the village and township fire departments. Just think of what additional supplies, personnel, and equipment that could have been purchased with $804,000. 9-1-1 Dispatch should be funded on a percentage of use by each and every entity (police, fire, and EMS) that utilizes its services.
Defender: If the Health Department levy doesn’t pass, what steps, if any, can the commissioner’s office take to ensure that the county doesn’t lose the vital services the department provides?
Ward: If the levy that is currently on the General Election ballot fails, the county will not have sufficient funding for the mandated accreditation and yearly fees and will lose control. The townships are required to provide funding to the Board of Health and made a good faith effort to assist by increasing their funding, but have been informed by legal counsel that they are not permitted by law to increase their mandated share. Without the levy funding, a neighboring county that achieves accreditation will take over our Board of Health. There is nothing that can be done unless the law is reversed to eliminate accreditation. Crime and non-funded mandates are the biggest threat to financial stability and their unwelcome presence is devouring our budgets.
Defender: More individuals are now living in poverty in Adams County. What should the county be doing to confront growing poverty here?
Ward: Adams County has many generous constituents that are currently providing assistance to the poverty-stricken residents. Local churches and other organizations have members that are working diligently to help those that are less fortunate by providing food, clothing, and other everyday necessities. No person in Adams County should go hungry or without clothing. The county should be working hand in hand with these organizations in an attempt to keep those in need aware of the resources provided by these organizations. If your neighbor is without food, you should feed them. If your neighbor is without clothing, you should clothe them. We are all part of the human race and we should show compassion to those in need. The county may not be able to provide assistance in the way of funding, but the county can provide individuals the information needed to help them make contact with those that are providing the much needed provisions. We have so many individuals that have a desire to serve those that are less fortunate, but do not know how to make contact with these organizations in order to donate. Establishing a resource listing of services offered and schedules of operation for each community could be distributed via the schools, churches, and postings would be one small way to have an impact on many people.
Defender: What are your goals for cultivating a strong cultural identity for Adams County in the next four years? What role should the arts play in Adams County’s cultural identity, and how should the county be supporting the arts community?
Ward: Adams County is in the Appalachia Region which is rich in history and talent. There are vacant buildings that could be attained to showcase local talent, historical events, and artisans. Currently, the Adams County Government Center showcases just a small portion of the artwork that is available in Adams County. Why should residents have to wait for the yearly events and fairs in order to purchase handmade items from our locals? Quilting is just one of the very popular crafts, but we do not have a venue in which to display the finished products.
Defender: If elected how would you cultivate and strengthen tourism in Adams County?
Ward: Grant research needs to be implemented to assist in helping the economic development in this area which would not only assist our local constituents in the way of jobs, but could also be implemented as future tourism attractions. Implementation of a good marketing plan would bring jobs and tourists to the county. Tours could be organized showcasing several points of interest like the Islands at Manchester, Serpent Mound, Buzzards Roost, and the beautiful Edge of Appalachia Preserve Nature Center. There is something for everyone in Adams County. The only things that keep the county from truly benefiting in this area are the lack of accommodations to meet the need and small business owners to take advantage of the opportunities.
Defender:What incentives would you offer businesses to come to Adams County?
Ward: I don’t feel that one generic overall incentive should be offered to prospective businesses looking to locate in Adams County. Each individual business’ operational requirements should be assessed in order to accommodate an incentive that would not only benefit the business, but also the county. The incentive should also be rated per the number of jobs each business will bring to the county. My concern is also retention of businesses by offering a reasonable incentive to persuade the business from relocating and taking jobs with them. Any and all efforts should be made in an attempt to negotiate with the business in order to keep them in the county.
Defender: If new resources were available, what one area of county services do you believe most needs additional resources?
Ward: If new resources become available, our needs exceed more than one area providing county services. The Board of Health, Veterans Commission, and crime related departments. I cannot single out one department over another.
Defender: Should any part of the county budget be shielded from cuts? And if so, which areas?
Ward: Not all departments are funded with the same source of funding. If the county general budget cuts should become necessary, all departments funded with county general dollars should have to make a reasonable reduction in order to keep providing mandated services. If Children’s Services funding is affected, only Children’s Services would have to make the necessary reduction. Same with the Engineer, Adams County Developmental Disabilities, Job andFamily Services, and any other department that has revenue sources specifically designated for the purpose of the aforesaid departments.
Defender:What is your experience with preparing or authorizing budgets?
Ward: My experience with preparation and approval of governmental budgets encompasses 24 years. My family business and personal budget is over 37 years. Good budgetary management ensures fiscal integrity and soundness. One cannot be lax in monitoring your revenues and expenditures on a continuous basis; common sense, responsibility, and attention to budgetary details play a major part in successful management.
Defender: What are your goals for cultivating a strong cultural identity for Adams County in the next four years? What role should the arts play in Adams County’s cultural identity, and how should the county be supporting the arts community?
Ward: Adams County is in the Appalachia Region which is rich in history and talent. There are vacant buildings that could be attained to showcase local talent, historical events, and artisans. Currently, the Adams County Government Center showcases just a small portion of the artwork that is available in Adams County. Why should residents have to wait for the yearly events and fairs in order to purchase handmade items from our locals? Quilting is just one of the very popular crafts, but we do not have a venue in which to display the finished products.
Defender: If elected how would you cultivate and strengthen tourism in Adams County?
Ward: Grant research needs to be implemented to assist in helping the economic development in this area which would not only assist our local constituents in the way of jobs, but could also be implemented as future tourism attractions. Implementation of a good marketing plan would bring jobs and tourists to the county. Tours could be organized showcasing several points of interest like the Islands at Manchester, Serpent Mound, Buzzards Roost, and the beautiful Edge of Appalachia Preserve Nature Center. There is something for everyone in Adams County. The only things that keep the county from truly benefiting in this area are the lack of accommodations to meet the need and small business owners to take advantage of the opportunities.
Defender:What incentives would you offer businesses to come to Adams County?
Ward: I don’t feel that one generic overall incentive should be offered to prospective businesses looking to locate in Adams County. Each individual business’ operational requirements should be assessed in order to accommodate an incentive that would not only benefit the business, but also the county. The incentive should also be rated per the number of jobs each business will bring to the county. My concern is also retention of businesses by offering a reasonable incentive to persuade the business from relocating and taking jobs with them. Any and all efforts should be made in an attempt to negotiate with the business in order to keep them in the county.
Defender: If new resources were available, what one area of county services do you believe most needs additional resources?
Ward: If new resources become available, our needs exceed more than one area providing county services. The Board of Health, Veterans Commission, and crime related departments. I cannot single out one department over another.
Defender: Should any part of the county budget be shielded from cuts? And if so, which areas?
Ward: Not all departments are funded with the same source of funding. If the county general budget cuts should become necessary, all departments funded with county general dollars should have to make a reasonable reduction in order to keep providing mandated services. If Children’s Services funding is affected, only Children’s Services would have to make the necessary reduction. Same with the Engineer, Adams County Developmental Disabilities, Job andFamily Services, and any other department that has revenue sources specifically designated for the purpose of the aforesaid departments.
Defender:What is your experience with preparing or authorizing budgets?
Ward: My experience with preparation and approval of governmental budgets encompasses 24 years. My family business and personal budget is over 37 years. Good budgetary management ensures fiscal integrity and soundness. One cannot be lax in monitoring your revenues and expenditures on a continuous basis; common sense, responsibility, and attention to budgetary details play a major part in successful management.

One comment:

  1. As a new resident of Peebles (1-1/2 Yrs). It is disappointing to not have a restaurant in town that a cocktail cannot be consumed while enjoying yourself. A Sports Bar and Hotel would do amazing for the community. In my communication with several individuals, they say nothing can be done and so called Christians would not allow it. What do people think the beverage was consumed in The Last Supper? With all the drug activity in Peebles and Adams County, a beer or wine should be a piece of cake!
    Peebles is a lovely community but has nothing for enjoyment, you have to go out of town!
    This should be a priority for the new commissioner Teresa Ward.
    Thank you,

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