Judge, new commissioners sworn in

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 1/3/17

New terms of office were marked Jan. 3 with a round of officials being sworn into office.

After returning Jefferson County Commissioner David Sullivan swore in returning Superior Court Judge Keith …

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Judge, new commissioners sworn in

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New terms of office were marked Jan. 3 with a round of officials being sworn into office.

After returning Jefferson County Commissioner David Sullivan swore in returning Superior Court Judge Keith Harper, Harper in turn swore Jeff Randall into his first term as the District 1 commissioner for the Jefferson County Public Utility District. Harper then swore Sullivan into another term as county commissioner for District 2, and Kate Dean into her first term as county commissioner for District 1.

“I affirmed,” Dean stipulated, after her oath of office. “I didn’t swear.”

Harper moved briskly, since he had a trial beginning immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, but he offered words of encouragement to all the newly minted and returning commissioners.

Bill Dean, Kate’s father, spoke for their family in saying “how proud we all are to have you there,” and expects “great things will come from this board with you on it.” As a Port Ludlow resident, he also reiterated his thanks to the existing county commissioners for their work with his fellow residents and the Port Ludlow Association (PLA).

“Thank you, Mr. Dean,” Ms. Dean replied, drawing laughter from the audience.

James Fritz and former chair of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Bruce Cowan were heartened to see that all three county commissioners continue to be Democrats, and Cowan was gratified to see how much Dean had learned from the process of campaigning for office.

“I look forward to working with so many of you, and not just those of you in this room,” Dean said, before citing Fritz’s expressed concerns about the homeless population. “I appreciate those who have brought up the less privileged among us, to remind us of our commitment to the vulnerable.”

Dean deemed it the government’s responsibility to protect “what’s sacred to all us,” which she hopes to do “not just by putting out fires,” but by thinking of the long term as well.

Sullivan echoed this when he acknowledged that a number of long-planned public works projects have been temporarily delayed due to short-term crises in the interim.

“We are proceeding on that, but more needs to be done,” said Sullivan, who also noted how city and county fees have made the development of homeless shelters possible. “We do have to look for long-term solutions.”

Sullivan also agreed with Cowan about how much a candidate can learn from running for office.

“You see all the diversity in the county,” Sullivan said. “It’s not just the problems, but all the good things as well.”

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