Two new members coming to Washington County Commission

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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Charles Schilling got more than 70% of the vote in his race against incumbent Ron Feathers for the Washington County Commission.

It wasn't until early morning until the results of Tuesday's primary, conducted primarily by mail-in votes, became public due to technical problems.

Schilling, a Beverly businessman, believes a positive campaign, conducted with social media, made the difference.

"I think people want to hear positivity," Schilling said Wednesday, "and I was bound and determined that was the way the campaign was going to direct its attention was to be positive."

Schilling noted that former county commissioners supported his campaign, one of whom was James Vuksic, a commissioner in the late 1970's and early '80s, who sent out mailings critical of the merger of the Washington County Children's Services and the Job and Family Services office two years ago.

Schilling doesn't believe that merger can be reversed, but James Booth, who defeated Commissioner David White for the other commission seat up in Tuesday's primary, believes that has to be taken under consideration.

Booth cites expected effects on the county budget, something local governments across the country are expecting, due to the economic hit from the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Everybody's going to be tightening their belts, so is that continuance of merging is something I'm going to be looking at very in-depth," Booth says.

Feathers defends his actions, which include the fight against Ohio EPA mandates for installing a sewer system in Devola, which remains under opposition by several residents, in spite of a judge's ruling upholding a decision approving the project by a previous commission.

Feathers agrees, however, the budget will be a big issue in his, and White's, final eight months in office.

"The budget for the county that we'd already put together for 2020," Feathers says, "taking a hard look at that, partnering with the other elected officials. So we want to steer the county in the right direction."

Schilling currently has no opposition in November's general election. Booth will face Democrat and former commissioner Cora Marshall in November's general election.


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