Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES

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.

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2016 People's Defender