MARIETTA - It's finally a wrap for this year's Nov. 6 election, as the Washington County Board of Elections committee met Monday and tallied final votes including remaining absentee and provisional ballots.
In the close Washington County commissioner race between Ron Feathers (R) and Cora Marshall (D), Feathers emerged as the winner with 14,069 votes. Marshall had 13,757 votes.
Feathers said he and fellow new county commissioner David White have been attending budgetary meetings "to see what's in store for us in 2013."
"We'll have to stay focused on Children Services, a state mandated program. We'll move forward with the townships as far as looking at their funding for 2013 and beyond," he said.
Feathers said he understands that he will face challenges as a Washington County commissioner.
"In January when the governing begins, it's gonna be an eye opener I'm sure," he said. "Overall I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Feathers thanked his opponent Marshall, a current commissioner, for her service to the county.
"I'm sure it's not an easy job for anyone to step up and try to serve the community, he said. "She's got to be commended for doing that."
Marshall said it's too soon to say if she'll run for a county commissioner seat again, although she noted that a seat will be available in two years.
"It's been a rewarding experience for me. We've been able to move the county in the right direction as far as cutting out some wasteful spending and bringing the county into the 21st century as far as technology," she said.
Marshall offered her congratulations to Feathers and White.
In a levy vote that went down to the wire Monday, the Washington County Children Services tax levy was defeated, with 14,553 votes against the levy and 14,210 for it.
The result was disappointing for Ginny McVey, chairwoman of the Friends of Children Services committee.
"I'm so concerned about what's going to happen to children in our county, and I just want them to all be taken care of," said McVey.
The final vote was not a surprise for Alice Stewart, Children Services supervisor.
At this point, no decision has been made about any possible cuts or changes at Washington County Children Services, said Stewart.
"We have a (Friends of Children Services) levy committee meeting at the end of November to go over everything," she said.
Stewart said she doesn't see a way to further cut services and staff.
"There's no way for us to keep up with the amount of calls and the seriousness of the calls we get if we were to cut any more case workers. There's no way we could safely take care of the kids in this county," she said.
In the meantime the agency has had its budget hearing with the Washington County commissioners, asking for $1.2 million for next year, according to Stewart.
"Everything is going to hinge on what the commissioners do basically," she said.
The 10-year, 1.46-mill Children Services levy would have raised $1.6 million a year to supplement the agency's budget, restore an abuse and neglect prevention program and increase pay for foster families.
Children Services investigates reports of child abuse and neglect and intervenes when necessary.