POMEROY — For the past three months, Sheriff Keith Wood has made his way from one end of Meigs County to the other, and everywhere in between, sharing the information on the proposed Meigs County Correctional Facility.
A Facebook statement from Sheriff Wood to county residents following the results on Tuesday night read,
The last three months I traveled all over this county to talk to you about the new justice center for Meigs County. I presented this message to 35 different groups. The work was worth it. I met many wonderful people and we discussed many of our problems that exist in this county.
I’m proud of Meigs County and the people I represent as the Sheriff.
My goal was to make sure everyone had an opportunity to hear how there public safety in law enforcement was going, and how we could make it more efficient. But I didn’t draw much of a crowd. Most locations maybe one or two would show up, once nobody came. But I was keeping a my promise to myself that I would be in every part of Meigs County to get this information to the citizens. I wanted to make sure they knew what this was about and how important it was.
I only wish more would have come.
Tonight the election results were decided by the voters to stay where we are and continue our same path. We will.
I want to thank everyone that supported the proposed Meigs County Justice Center. It truly did have a lot to offer. The new jobs, the revenue, and keeping your deputies closer for protection. Providing some hope for those suffering from this terrible killing poison of drugs in our neighborhoods.
Tomorrow another day will start, my office will still move forward and the efforts will not fade by this.
I’m proud of what I do, and you can be assured adversity will not slow me down.
The voters spoke and the future of your sheriff’s office will continue to fight, serve and protect our citizens of this beautiful Ohio River County of Meigs.
Wood told those waiting at the Board of Elections on Tuesday night that he had made the efforts because of his love for the county and the regard he has for the office of sheriff, which he took on five years ago.
“I want to do the right thing,” said Wood. “I would have not done it any other way.”
Looking at what the county and his office will do moving forward, Wood stated, “We can’t continue to work out of a 19th century building and plan accordingly. Everything that we do from transporting, recovery program, we have to reach within our selves to care enough to know that there is people out there suffering from these problems all the time. And to ignore that, to think that that’s not a problem, it is.”
Wood said that he took on the proposed facility to bring positive change to the county, and that the results of Tuesday evening will not stop that.
“It can’t be about money. What is your public safety worth? What do you expect people to do to protect you with the tools that we have now?” asked Wood, stating that he hoped if they move forward with the levy again that voters would come out and learn about the proposal and the need.
“I am very disappointed tonight that we lost…You just have to look at tomorrow as the suns going to come up; I’m still the sheriff in town and we have to work together in the community to make it a good, great community,” added Wood.
Likewise, Commissioner Randy Smith was disappointed by the result, but looking to the future.
“This wasn’t the result we wanted, clearly, but it’s not a problem that will go away. We have to regroup and hit it again.It wasn’t a blow out and the support is there. We have to protect our citizens, our budget and our future,” stated Smith.
Wood expressed his appreciation for all of his staff who have help over the past several months, as well as their day to day efforts for the county.
Seeing the help given by his staff and citizens of the county, Wood said made him want to push forward as there are “people who do care and want to see better.”
“My men and women work their butts off. They are dedicated people and will continue to be. I applaud them for their efforts,” said Wood.
Wood said he will be meeting with the commissioners to see what their next steps are.