The group includes two starting new positions
CLARK COUNTY — Six elected officials started off their New Year’s Eve day taking the oath of office in front of a packed house in the County Council chambers.
“It is the best day you’ll have,” joked outgoing County Chair Marc Boldt, “it all goes downhill.”
Two of the six electeds being sworn in were doing so for the first time in their new positions. Temple Lentz is replacing Jeanne Stewart as councilor for District 1, and Alishia Topper is moving over from Vancouver City Council to become County Treasurer. She replaces Doug Lasher, who retired after 34 years working in county government. Lasher was on hand to wish Topper the best in her new position.
Also being sworn in were District 2 County Councilor Julie Olson, winning her second term, County Sheriff Chuck Atkins, who ran unopposed for a second term, County Clerk Scott Weber, entering his third term, and County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick.
“This is only my third term and everyone who is on the council was not here when I was first elected,” said Van Nortwick. “So, really, your representative government does change over a lot more than people think.”
Superior Court Judge David Gregerson, who officiated the ceremony, also talked about the way local elections work, leading to a blend of experience levels.
“It’s a small but important symbol of what we do in this country,” said Gregerson, “that we commit to following the law and serving in our community. And, again, at a time when we are overwhelmed with media messages of cynicism about public service, it’s a great time for those of us that have served, that do serve, or know people who serve — who serve with distinction and excellence, and the best and highest of civic-mindedness — it’s a great time to go out and tell those people at your New Year’s Eve party tonight, that you know and have experience first-hand of those people who are committed to public excellence.”
“I just look to 2019 and the next four years with a great sense of optimism,” said Olson. “We’ve got a new councilor, we’re going to be looking at appointing another new councilor, so we are fully into the implementation of the charter with our new county manager and all of our councilors elected under the charter.”
The Clark County GOP has opened up an application process for nominations to replace District 4 Councilor Eileen Quiring, who was elected to take over as chair. Those applications are due by January 10. The full council will ultimately vote for three finalists to fill the remaining two years of Quiring’s original seat.