Scioto County Commissioner Scottie Powell won his bid Tuesday night to maintain his place among elected Scioto County Commissioners this week, without a Democratic opponent to be challenged by.
Powell was excited to look back at his record and ahead to further work.
“It is encouraging to continue the work we’ve been doing. There is a lot of positive momentum in the community and collaboration with the county and multiple entities. The work we’ve accomplished with the city is unprecedented,” Powell said. “There is a lot of work to be done, but there has been a lot of growth since I’ve been there and before. I know we have a lot going on and I’m excited to continue working on those.”
The commissioner was appointed to the seat in 2021, when the position became open after the passing of late Commissioner Mike Crabtree. The Republican Central Committee was quick to seek an appropriate candidate to continue the role and settled on Powell, out of 20 applicants, just after one month of deliberation.
Powell was quick to action as a commissioner, but never forgot the reason for his place there.
“The way that I obtained this seat is not lost on me,” Powell said in 2021 to the Times, praising Crabtree’s work that brought the county out of a fiscal emergency. “It is very important to me that I can bring honor to his seat and to carry out the work that he led.”
In May, Powell ran a successful campaign to beat challenger Keith Crabtree, winning his place on the ballot for this week, unopposed.
“This is validation,” said Powell to the Times in May. “Over the past year, people have paid attention to the direction the county is going in. They see the economic development we are working on. They see new recreational opportunities and our strong fiscal stance. That resonates with the voters and the citizens of Scioto County…People can feel the energy whether it’s in the commissioner’s office or with all the non-profits doing great work in the community.”
With the recent win, Powell plans on continuing his actions as commissioner and expanding with further plans.
In his short time, Powell has been excited to expand partnerships, taking a look at tourism and recreation, and pursuing development.
“The spec building at SOAR Business Park was one of the first projects I was able to research and vote on. Since we’ve made the announcement, we’ve had a natural gas company come to us and request a partnership; we had another company wanting to build on the property— we’ve already leased the building and it isn’t even built yet,” Powell said. “So, we’ve already approved of the concept, and we will see 40+ jobs out there as soon as the building opens.
“We’ve been able to focus on tourism and recreation. The pump track was great to bring into the community and tie to the mountain biking areas. I pursued the paddle grant, which will be finished with construction very soon. We always hear there is nothing to do around here, which drives me crazy, because it just isn’t true. We’ve been working on tying this all together and I think the relationship and collaboration we’ve had with everything has showed that.
“Our partnership with the city, getting them the Fifth Third building and other deals, I don’t remember ever seeing this kind of partnership growing up.”
Powell said that most of his term will be spent not only continuing these efforts, but also looking at other projects. One of which being broadband, a topic Commissioner Davis also campaigned on. The other being grant management.
“Broadband is huge. It is the great equalizer. We’ve been talking about broadband and I was part of the first Broadband Ohio cohort for 15 weeks, which was us digging in and better understanding the needs. The other thing is the $500-million Appalachian grant that we’ll be competing for to ensure we can pull together some generational-changing projects that really change the region and community.”
Scottie will be up for reelection in 2024.
“It feels good to have the confidence of the public. People ask me how things are going in the Commissioner office and I always tell them that is up to them, because they are the one who votes and decides,” Powell said. “I’m very mindful of having this confidence and it means a lot to know citizens think we are focusing where they want.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved