Voters approve 1st Stop alcohol sales in Seaman –
By Patricia Beech –
The official results of the 2016 election were released on Monday, Nov. 21 by the Adams County Board of of Elections.
A stunning upset in the race for the Jan. 2 seat on the Adams County Board of Commissioners saw Republican challenger Teresa Diane Ward defeating Democratic incumbent Paul Worley by a narrow margin of 35 votes. Ward is the first woman ever to be elected to serve on the county board of commissioners. In the final tally following the provisional ballot count, Ward won 5,457 votes while Worley fell short with 5,422.
Ward will bring over three decades of business, fiscal and administrative experience to the commissioner’s board. Running on a campaign of government transparency and accountability, she promised to bring an end to the “flagrant spending” of taxpayer dollars. In a pre-election interview with The People’s Defender, Ward said, “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.”
As of press time, Ward had not responded to the Defender’s request for a comment on her election victory.
In his concession statement Worley said, “It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Adams County for the past four years as a county commissioner. We live in the greatest nation in the world and the power of our democracy comes from the people’s right to freely choose their leaders. While our campaign came up short in this election and we are disappointed with the outcome, I am proud to say that we fought for the people and our shared values and vision for a better Adams County.”
Worley expressed appreciation to his supporters and alluded to ongoing developments that may soon impact the lives of every person in Adams county.
“I want to thank my supporters from the depths of my heart for their work and support on my behalf, “ he said, “This campaign was never about one person, but about the future and progress of our county. Challenges remain ahead and I wish the new board of commissioners all the very best for the future.”
Doubtless, the most pressing of those challenges will spring from the county-wide loss of tax revenue generated by the Stuart and Killen Power Plants which are potentially slated to cease operation at some point in 2018.
Worley said his concern for Adams County’s future would remain unaltered by the election results.
“The obligation to serve does not end when you take off your military uniform or leave public office,” he said, “It is our duty as citizens to work together to make this county and our nation a more perfect union. I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to have served the people of Adams County.”
Ward and senior board member Brian Baldridge will in Jan. 2017 be sworn into their respective commissioner’s seats
Baldridge was elected to the Jan. 3 seat now held by Commissioner Ty Pell who was appointed by the Republican Central Committee following the resignation of former Commissioner Stephen Caraway. While the central committee has not yet announced their choice of candidates to fill the Jan. 1 seat vacated by Baldridge, insiders surmise that Pell will most likely win the appointment.
Provisional ballots also turned the tables in favor of alcohol sales at the Seaman Village 1st Stop Station. The measure, which failed by seven votes (179 – 172) in the unofficial Nov. 8 ballot count, was approved by voters in the official count – 183 for the Liquor Permit and 180 against. While proponents for alcohol sales argued that the Liquor Permit measures would give a much needed boost to the county’s tax revenue base, voters disagreed and rejected seven of the ten requests.