West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28

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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