George Deshner

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — George Deshner is Crawford County Fair Board's new president following a 5-4 roll call vote on Thursday.

Deshner, who served as first vice president in 2019, defeated Francis Weiderspahn Jr., a Crawford County commissioner, for the presidency.

At the board's annual report and reorganizational meeting in December, the board had deadlocked 4-4 on Deshner and Weiderspahn in voting for the 2020 presidency due to a vacancy on the nine-member board.

While the president only votes in the event of a tie, the Fair Board's bylaws don't permit a county commissioner to serve as a voting member of the Fair Board.

Though Weiderspahn is a county commissioner, he could have served as president before the board vacancy was filled, raising the board to nine members, eliminating tie votes.

The vacancy was created in late August 2019 when then-Fair Board President Bill Winters resigned both the presidency and his seat on the board.

Winters' seat remained open until January when county commissioners appointed Ryan Smith. The Fair Board nominated Smith to fill the three years remaining on Winters' term. The Fair Board makes nominations to the board, and commissioners make the appointments.

Bill Good, first vice president, served as the board’s acting president since Winters' resignation until elections at Thursday night's meeting at the Crawford County Extension Service Building in West Mead Township.

Without comment, Weiderspahn was defeated 5-4 for the presidency. Board members Kathy Klink, Dean Maynard, Deshner, Smith and Kenneth Hyde voted against Weiderspahn while board members Good, Diana Perry, Bill Agnew and Adam Raney voted for Weiderspahn.

Without comment, Deshner then was elected 5-4 with board members Smith, Maynard, Klink, Deshner and Hyde voting for Deshner while Good, Perry, Agnew and Raney voted against Deshner.

At December's deadlock vote, Klink, Maynard, Deshner and Hyde said they weren’t against Weiderspahn personally but were against having a commissioner as president because of the potential for a conflict of interest since the county owns the fairgrounds. Klink also said she favored the Fair Board electing one of its own members to bring the board together.

The board voted 9-0 in favor of Good serving as first vice president and voted 9-0 in favor of Maynard as second vice president in 2020. Good and Maynard were the only nominations for their respective offices.

The board voted 7-2 in favor of Perry serving as secretary-treasurer with Perry voting against herself serving another year as secretary-treasurer. During the roll call vote, Klink, who voted after Perry, said, "I'm torn if Diana is voting no."

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

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