We think Cora Marshall, an incumbent running for Washington County commissioner, has earned a second term. Marshall has proven she won't back away from complicated or controversial issues, including the need for sewers in some county areas. More times than not, she is the commissioner willing to go on record and discuss the issues, which shows she has done her homework and feels comfortable explaining any given situation and how the commissioners will address it.
She believes more of the county's permissive sales tax should go to townships, when revenue can allow it, understanding the county must fund its own services and programs first. She intends to review township budgets through the budget process.
When the issue of fracking began making its way to Washington County, Marshall formed a fracking advisory committee made up of 15 individuals. The committee is still in its early stages, but we like the idea and applaud her for getting it up and running.
During her current term, she has worked to make meetings more accessible to residents by conducting more meetings out in the county and she says she is looking into televised commission meetings. She's also the driving force behind a new county website that will provide information to residents.
Another priority for Marshall is pursuing a grant to establish a more permanent and adequate Emergency Operations Center.
Her opponent, Ron Feathers, offers ideas of making the commissioners office more transparent and more accessible, but those are really extensions of plans already in place. Voters should return Marshall to office on Election Day.
In the other commissioner race, we think the best choice is Peg Littler. Her decades in education, particularly those as an administrator, have led her to have excellent people skills, to be a listener, to bring forth solutions and to know how to deescalate a situation. Littler is patient, calm and is a problem solver.
Littler's opponent, David White, would bring to the position his experience from two terms on Marietta City Council. However, we feel that White's strong, sometimes "my way or the highway" personality might not work as well for a commissioner as it does for a councilman fighting for his ward.
Working within a three-person commission, settling disagreements without being antagonistic and being open to others' ideas may not be White's strong suit. That could hold up important decisions.
Littler would mesh well with the others likely to be on the commission and fill a specific role there. Also, Littler has some fresh ideas we think would be good. She wants to explore developing a salary grid for county employees, based on a step system, so that salaries among departments are no longer so subjective, which has been a recent issue.
She also wants to make sure commissioners improve communication. Littler also says she thinks it's smart to split any casino money received, half going into the general fund and half into a contingency fund, which we think would be smart.
We encourage those who don't know Peg Littler to talk to her one-on-one about her ideas and to cast your vote for her on Election Day.