David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction 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

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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

2016 People's Defender