BELPRE - Belpre voters filled three seats on the Belpre City Schools Board of Education Tuesday, returning one incumbent, unseating a second and adding two new members.
Two incumbents and eight newcomers were among those vying for three spots on the board of education.
The incumbents were Rod Hineman, who has been a member of the board for 10 years, and Wayne Clark, who was appointed to the seat left empty by the death of Buzzy Abbott in February.
Hineman will be returning to the school board after receiving 853 votes and will be joined by Fred Meredith with 1,004 votes and Leonard Wiggins with 744 votes.
"I'm happy to be returning to the school board," said Hineman Tuesday night. "But I think the most important issue on the ballot was the renewal of the school levy. I'm relieved that it passed."
Hineman said his 10 years on the school board have been rewarding, and he is excited that two new board members will be joining him.
"I think one of the items we'll be looking at rather quickly is the administration building. It's a much older building, and we can't afford the maintenance and upkeep. Selling it will be a money-saving decision that we'll have to make in the near future," said Hineman.
Meredith, who received the highest number of votes on election night, will join the board in January.
"I'm just glad the public has confidence in me, and I'm excited to get started," said Meredith. "I've lived in Belpre my whole life, and I graduated from this high school. I think it's time to put the honesty and trust back into the school system and put the pride back in Belpre."
Meredith said the school system is currently going through some hardships that will take time to recover from.
"It's going to take a little time to get the train back on the tracks," he said. "We need to take a hard look at the school policies and programs in place and make sure they're working."
Wiggins, also a newcomer to the board of education, said he and a small group of friends and family watched the results Tuesday night.
"I'm so pleased that people have put their trust in me. I think our school system needs to keep the lines of communication open and keep everyone informed of the issues," said Wiggins.
Clark received 631 votes to come in fourth place, followed by Linda Copeland with 560, Rita Lowe with 523, Loretta Matheny with 502 and Daniel Law with 440.
There were two write-in candidates, Steven Richardson, and Marjean Ullman. The Washington County Board of Elections listed 192 votes on the write-in line.