SCIOTO — Whoever was chosen to fill the open Scioto County Commissioner seat knew they would have big shoes to fill. Left vacant since the passing of Mike Crabtree last month, the county Republican Central Committee convened last week to make that decision.
Following two sessions at the county courthouse, the Thursday evening decision was made to go with Scottie Powell, the Otway-born and now Wheelersburg resident.
“The way that I obtained this seat is not lost on me,” said Powell, 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.”
Powell, a former candidate in the 2018 primary for the 90th District Ohio House of Representatives, has an extensive history in both the health care and workers’ compensation fields. His professional background suits well for the new role, Powell feels.
“My driving force is trying to make the community better,” he said during a Friday interview with the PortsmouthDailyTimes. “This was just an extra layer to serve and to be more involved in the solution to move Scioto County forward.”
The Northwest graduate has spent most of his life in the county, with an exception for his undergraduate education at Otterbein University. Following graduation, he returned home and worked at the BridgePort health care Center as the Admissions and marketing coordinator, helping launch a multimillion dollar rehab center.
Powell later became a licensed nursing home administrator, where he worked at Wheelersburg’s Concord Health and Rehabilitation Center as the Executive Director.
Before his current position as the Chief Experience Officer at Alternative Living Solutions Ohio, Powell climbed the ranks of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to be the Director of Customer Experience where he worked to fix bad procedures and getting compensation back quickly.
“I was driving every day for two years from Portsmouth to Columbus,” he said of his past role, his current job based much closer in Portsmouth.
Outside of the office, Powell says his life boils down to faith, family, and community in that order. He is an active parishioner at the Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, where he attends mass with his wife, Emily and two children, 8-year-old Sawyer and 5-year-old Scarlett.
“It is important for me that they get to be involved in this process, so they can see what it means to be involved in the community,” he said. “I think instilling that early on and being part of the solution early on, only makes us stronger going forward.”
While Crabtree won his November election and would have served a four-year term, Powell’s term will not be full one as he will have to run for reelection in two years if he so chooses. During this shortened term, he wants to continue the promotion of economic development and improvements to infrastructure.
Powell wants to create an inventory of sites that are available for purchase in the county, which he believes will assist developers and the state agency JobsOhio. This will encourage companies to establish base in Scioto in his view, selling an opportunity for these businesses to grow while helping area residents.
“My primary focus is going to be looking at the economic development activities to this point to evaluate where those are at and then see where I can bring in my experience to move those along,” he said.
Powell is looking forward to working alongside fellow Commissioners Bryan Davis and Cathy Coleman, a view shared by the Board. Being sworn in Saturday, he will start work this week and attend the Board’s Thursday meeting.
“The Board of Scioto County Commissioners would like to commend the Scioto County Republican Party Central Committee on their very professional selection of a new commissioner,” reads a statement provided from Davis. “We welcome newly appointed Scottie Powell to the Board and look forward to working with him in the very near future.”
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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