Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson Nation’s #1 movie comes to stage Artectis hosts grand opening Waiting for the ax to fall, who’s to blame? WU Seniors going to State Sci. Fair Peebles Elem. releases Honor Roll Finding the strength to endure

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,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved