POMEROY — A total of 21 people submitted letters of interest to be the next Meigs County Commissioner prior to Wednesday’s submission deadline.
Ranging in from high school senior to retiree, both men and women from many areas of the county expressed their interest in filling the upcoming vacancy of Commissioner Mike Bartrum.
Bartrum is expected to submit his written resignation in the near future following a verbal resignation which was accepted during last week’s regular commissioner meeting. Bartrum is leaving to pursue an assistant coaching position with the Philadelphia Eagles.
A decision on who will fill Bartrum’s seat will be made by Commissioners Tim Ihle and Randy Smith, along with Prosecutor James K. Stanley, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code.
Those submitting letters of interest are as follows (in no particular order):
Weber, of Rutland, is a lifelong resident of Meigs County. Weber manages the family business, Quality Print Shop, which he took over after the passing of his father in 1983. He and his brother currently own the business, with Weber as the majority owner and President.
“Running a business has taught me much over the years, especially the ability to weather the tuff times and to manage money carefully,” wrote Weber, who currently serves on Rutland Village Council.
Miller, of Tuppers Plains, is currently a project manager for Aristeo Constriction and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He is a Millwright with Local 443 out of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Outside of work, Miller has been a volunteer with fundraisers for Shop with a Cop, March for Meals, Toys for Tots and others.
Vogt, of Coolville (Olive Twp.), has been a resident of Meigs County for nearly 40 years and has been a career educator. During his more than 40 years in education he taught every age group preschool to senior citizens. He currently assists his wife who manages Cool Stuff Antique Store in Tuppers Plains.
Vogt has been trained and has presented Medicare Fraud Prevention for the Area Agency on Aging and has served as a volunteer long-term care ombudsman to protect residents at assisted-living facilities. He has also served a four year term on the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board.
Wolfe, of Racine, is the federal programs/special education director for Southern Local Schools. He has also been an educator, coach, principal and held other positions in the school system.
Wolfe has previous local government experience with nearly eight years on Racine Village Council, nearly two years on Syracuse Village Council, and eight years on the Southern Local Board of Education. He has also served as Race Director at Atomic Speedway and Race Director and President of the American Motor Racing Association.
Wolfe stated that he would run for election at the end of the term should he be appointed.
Davis, of Rutland, previously ran for the Republican nomination for Commissioner in 2018. Davis has been involved in the community many years as a member of the Rutland Volunteer Fire Department since 1984, serving as assistant chief and treasurer since 1994 and as part of the grant writing committee. He has also been a member of Rutland EMS, a past member of Rutland Village Council and has coached softball, baseball, wrestling and football for youth in the area.
Davis is a member of the Meigs County LEPC and was employed with Meigs County EMS. He is currently employed with Mason County EMS.
James A. “Tony” Carnahan
Carnahan is a lifelong resident of Meigs County and is currently employed by Meigs Local School District as lead mechanic and substitute bus driver. He has served as a member of the Meigs Soil and Water Board of Directors for four years and is currently the Chairman. He is also a member of River City Players, Big Bend Farm and Racine Grange.
Carnahan notes his experience working with groups of people, listening to ideas and then making decisions, stating that it is a role he finds challenging and rewarding.
Stanley, of Shade, has more than 15 years of experience in local government. Prior to moving to Meigs County in 2006, Stanley was a member of Nelsonville City Council and former Mayor of Nelsonville.
Swann has spent 18 years with the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center where he is the Treasurer/CFO. In his role, he has extensive esperience in budgeting, payroll administration, federal grants administration, and health care benefits administration.
Swann states that at this stage in his career he is ready for a new challenge.
Michael “Adam” Edward Will
Will, of Pomeroy, is a lifelong resident of Meigs County and a 12-year member of the Eastern Local Board of Education. In that position he states he has learned a great deal about local government funding and how to operate in a culture of scarcity.
Will has also served as a minister to two local congregations for the past 14 years.
Durst, a senior at Meigs High School, states that he has had an interest in the political process and government affairs since he was eight years old, and has a “passion for serving those around me.”
Durst is a previous state winner of the American Legion’s Americanism & Government Test and was a second place state winner in the Legion’s Constitutional Oratorical Contest.
Gerard, of Middleport, retired a little over a year ago after more than 38 years of service as part of the Meigs County government. Gerard began as a special investigator, serving under four county prosecutors in various roles such as investigator, office manager and grant writer. He was also in administration for Common Pleas Court and served seven years as bailiff and probation officer for Meigs County Court.
Gerard was previously an elected member of Middleport Village Council and has also served as president of the Pomeroy Chamber of Commerce, the Meigs County Jaycees, the Middleport Alumni Association, the Middleport Community Association and District Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Investigators Association. He is currently Chairman of the administrative board of his church.
Gerard stated that he would likely not run for election in 2020 should he be selected for the position at this time.
Crow, of Pomeroy, recently concluded his term as Meigs County Common Pleas Court Judge.
Crow has been a local attorney and actively involved in the community for many years.
Briles, of Middlepport, has been employed with Shell/Kraton Polmers in Belpre for 25 years as a senior process technician and was formerly a police officer with the Mason Police Department.
“I feel that the Meigs County Commissioner have done great work in growth and development of Meigs County. I would love to be a part, continuing on the path of making Meigs County better,” wrote Briles.
James P. Will
Will, of Pomeroy, is a 2006 graduate of Eastern High School and is currently a registered nurse at the Meigs Emergency Department, where he has worked since the opening in 2014. He also worked at Shade Rive Agricultural Services through high school and college.
“Growing up on the family farm, hard work was a way of life which was taught at an early age,” wrote Will, who noted that he has always had an interest in politics and the commissioner job duties of Meigs County.
Will stated that if selected he would work hard to seek re-election as well.
Kimberly A. Dodd
Dodd, of Syracuse, has 28 years of experience in the financial industry, including her most recent position of Compliance Manager at Ohio University Credit Union.
“My professional background has equipped me with solid practical skills combined with a deep understanding of finance. … Additionally, I am a proven expert in critical thinking and a consistent collaborator. My previous roles have strengthened my abilities in leadership and communication, including a focused attention to detail and accuracy,” wrote Dodd.
Rhonda R. Cullums
Cullums, of Pomeroy, is a lifelong resident of Meigs County and has worked in the county for her entire adult life, including 29 years at PDK Construction as the accounts payable/receivable clerk.
Cullums has also served as the treasurer and vice president of the Meigs High School Athletic Boosters. As a breast cancer survivor, she has also served as a Reach To Recovery volunteer for the Meigs County branch of the American Cancer Society for several years.
Manuel, of Racine, has worked for Southern Local Schools for more than 30 years and has been the Letart Township Fiscal Officer for five years.
“I believe I would be an asset to this position because I am willing to work for my county to achieve its great promise now and in the future,” wrote Manuel.
Duane Bruce Wolfe Jr.
Wolfe Jr., of Pomeroy, is the Executive Creative Director and CEO of Wolfe Mountain Entertainment LLC. He also serves as a member of the board for the Meigs County Chamber of Commerce.
“Although there is no way anyone can ‘replace’ Mr. Bartrum, I would like the opportunity to share my commitment to Meigs County by being considered for the open position on the Board of Commissioners,” wrote Wolfe.
Coleman, of Middleport, is a lifelong resident of Meigs County and holds a degree in political science.
Coleman is the owner of his own photography business and has been with The Kroger Company for 32 years, including 24 years in management.
Neutzling, of Pomeroy, served in the Army as an Intelligence Analyst. In that role, Neutzling stated that she “learned how to approach things from different perspectives along with thinking outside the box when coming up with solutions to problems.”
“I learned to search and develop reports, which would help in finding grants and other sources to help make Meigs County better. Bringing in businesses that are not within a 30-minute drive from Meigs County would be one way to increase revenue,” wrote Neutzling.
Neutzling is currently employed as a security officer.
Davenport, of Pomeroy, served as Meigs County Commissioner from 1999 through 2010. In his letter, Davenport states that he had a “track record of working together with constituents on a nonpartisan basis.”
Davenport currently serves on the Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation board and the Board of Trustees for the Rio Grande Community College.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.