With the raising of hands and recital of oaths, 11 Thurston County officials were sworn in Tuesday during a ceremony at the county courthouse. They included a new sheriff, assessor, prosecuting attorney and district court judge.
Retiring District Court Judge Susan Dubuisson administered oaths to most of the officials, many of whom had family members standing close by. She also gave the keynote speech, using her time to impart the advice of listening to one another, respecting the knowledge of staff and cultivating a sense of humor.
“Nobody exists in a vacuum; no department exists by itself,” she told the officials.
Secretary of State Sam Reed performed master-of-ceremony duties and noted the importance of ceremony and official transition of power.
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Among the officials to take the oath was Sheriff-elect John Snaza, formerly a deputy for the Sheriff’s Office and the Thurston County SWAT team commander. After being sworn in, Snaza told the standing-room-only audience that he wouldn’t be in front of them if not for his strong family, who stood by his side as he took the oath. He also thanked supporters and had a message for those who might doubt him.
“I’m gonna prove you wrong,” he said.
Snaza, who ran as an independent, has been busy re-organizing the office after announcing his leadership team earlier this month.
Assessor Steven Drew, a Democrat who has worked as an independent property-claims adjuster in the state since 1983, spoke of his commitment to playing his part in county government and making sure each taxpayer who visits the assessor’s office comes out feeling like a valued customer.
New County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim, who has been the chief deputy prosecuting attorney for the county since 2003, recalled a children’s author during his speech.
Tunheim alluded to a Dr. Seuss story about disagreeing to highlight the need for collaboration in county government.
“I want to look for solutions,” he said.
Kalo Wilcox was sworn is as the newest district court judge. She was the city prosecutor in Olympia and has served as a pro tem judge in both municipal and district courts.
Legislative District 22 representative Sam Hunt, a Democrat, also received a certificate of election. Chris Reykdal, also a Democrat, was not present.
Others who took the oath Tuesday included Kim Wyman, auditor; Betty Gould, clerk; Karen Valenzuela, county commissioner; Gary Warnock, coroner; Shawn Myers, treasurer; Alan Corwin, public utility district commissioner; and Sam Meyer, district court judge.
Newly elected county officials will take office Saturday.
Nate Hulings: 360-754-5476 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/outsideolympia