Claudia U Mitchell TRAFFIC ALERT: SR 41 restrictions set for Saturday Jewell Foster Senior Profile: Nicholas Fish SHAC Girls Preview set for Nov. 17 Senior Profile: Lakyn Hupp Again, Lady Devils ousted in district finals ‘Lighting the Serpent’ event is being discontinued Voters favor incumbents at the ballot Arts Council dedicates Buzzardroost Rock mural Heroes in disguise Fighting for future generations in OH2 A few puffs of smoke, and a happy ending Lois Wilson Helen M Hesler Jerry L Dickson Ohio’s Traditional Deer-Gun Hunting Season begins Nov. 27 WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy

History made as Ward takes oath of office

With her family by her side, Teresa Diane Ward makes history as she takes the oath of office to become the first female Commissioner in the history of Adams County. The swearing-in ceremony took place on Dec. 29 and the oath was administered by Judge Brett Spencer.

First female Commissioner will help steer county through economic change and restructuring –

By Patricia Beech –

Well-wishers packed the Adams County Common Pleas courtroom on Thursday, Dec. 29 as Teresa Diane Ward took the oath of office, officially seating the county’s first woman Commissioner.
Officiating the ceremony, Judge Brett Spencer told those in attendance, “This county was founded in 1797, and now, in 2016 we at last have our first female Commissioner.”
While Ward may have shattered the glass ceiling, she is emphatic her decision to run wasn’t based on gender.
“I am very excited to be the first woman Commissioner, but I didn’t run on that basis,” she says. “Some people may have thought I was running just for that reason, but that’s absolutely not correct – I ran on my knowledge, my experience, and my desire to serve this county.”
Despite her qualifications, Ward was confronted by undisguised misogyny throughout her campaign.
“I was told right to my face by several men that a woman would never be an Adams County Commissioner,” she said.  “I knew I wasn’t going to get their votes, but I just got out there and I worked hard for the votes I did get.”
Having punched her way through the 220 year-old barrier, Ward must now contend with what’s on the other side – fiscal disjunction rising from the inevitable extinction of the county’s coal-fired power plants.
She is concerned, but undaunted by the economic changes and restructuring the closing of the plants will bring.
“I’m very worried about the situation with DP&L because it’s going to effect everyone in the county,” says Ward.  “We have cut back what we can so we may be able to glide through the changes in 2017, but in 2018 it’s going to hit us a lot harder and it’s a major concern.”
Primary among those concerns are state-mandated programs.
“When you have programs that are mandated by the state, you have to provide for them,” Ward explains. “You have to provide for the treasurer’s office, the auditor’s office, the courts, the recorder’s office – this is all mandated and you have to have the funding to provide for these services and when you have a major funding cut like this – it’s a big job.”
A former Franklin Township Fiscal Officer, Ward is no stranger to the constraints of shoestring budgeting.
“We’re going to have to pursue more grants that are available to us and actively go after them – aggressively go after them,” she says. “We’re going to do the best we can to keep things going. I don’t want to see any employee lose a job because people in this county need their jobs.”
Like many other of Adams County’s elected officials, Ward believes tourism could play an important role in replacing revenue for the region.
“We have such a beautiful county, but we do not have the infrastructure that would allow people to come here and stay,” she says. “Tourists come to visit Buzzard’s Roost, the Amish country, Serpent Mound, and all these other wonderful places, and then they go somewhere else to spend the night, and we’re losing that revenue. I would like to see more Bed and Breakfasts open, or a small hotel, and I would also like to see a couple other restaurants come in to promote tourism.”
Ward, who took office on Jan. 2, says she plans on visiting other counties over the next few months to explore ideas for replacing the county’s lost tax revenue.
“I’m hopeful we can get some things accomplished, and address this issue with DP&L and the Medicaid tax which we’re going to lose,” she says.  “When we lose this revenue, we lose services, and when those services are mandated we have no choice, we have to find the funding. It’s something that has to be dealt with or we may have to go to the state for help.”
Positioning herself as a reformer during the campaign season, Ward now says she plans to make good on her promise to bring transparency to Adams County government.
“This is an exciting time for me, and I want the public to know more about what’s going on in their county,” she added.  “I want our county government to be as transparent as possible – as clear as glass. I’m not here to turn things upside down, I’m here to make sure government process is done properly and in a timely manner, I’m here to address issues in an immediate sense – if it has to be done immediately.”
In a year that saw the rise of a strong, inspiring woman at the forefront of American politics, it seems appropriate that trailblazers would also break out in local governments. While this is not the first political office Ward has held, winning the Commissioners seat is a singular accomplishment capable of producing rippling effects.
“I have spoken with several young women recently who were very excited that I have become Commissioner,” said Ward. “I told them one thing – work hard, be determined, and you can do whatever you want in this life because you live in a country where women have the freedom to attain whatever they want. You just have to have the determination and work ethic to attain it.”

2 comments:

  1. “In a year that saw the rise of a strong, inspiring woman at the forefront of American politics”, why didn’t you mention Kellyanne Conway by name?

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