Lake County officials sworn into office
POLSON – Seven recently elected and re-elected Lake County officials were sworn in for their new terms and took their oaths of office Wednesday afternoon. Dec. 19, in the main courtroom of the Lake County Courthouse.
Montana’s Twentieth Judicial District Judge James Manley presided over the swearing-in ceremony. “Our forefathers developed this experiment that we call democracy,” he said during his opening remarks. “This month, in courthouses all around the country, ceremonies like this are going on whereby county elected officials are being sworn in.”
Manley said he didn’t know what to expect when he first began his work in public service. He said he ended up learning firsthand that the people working in Lake County government are dedicated, efficient and hardworking.
“I think I can say without reservation that there is not a group of people who work harder and do more with less than in this county government,” he said. “All of the seven people that will be sworn in today have already distinguished themselves by that measure.” He continued to say: “This is a proud moment for me, our county and for this experiment we call democracy.”
Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker was sworn in for district three. County Clerk and Recorder Paula Holle took the oath. County Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Hall will continue to serve county schools. County Treasurer/Assessor Robin G. Vert-Rubel was sworn in. Justice of the Peace Randal “Randy” Owens will continue to serve. Lake County Sheriff and Coroner Don Bell was re-elected and sworn in along with County Attorney Steven Eschenbacher.
Decker’s top priorities as he heads into his second term are a new jail and county taxes. “The jail is obviously one of our priorities,” he said. “As commissioners, we realize that we have to address it one way or another. We have to find a solution to some kind of new detention facility.”
He said property taxes have been escalating “rapidly” and strained the people’s budget. “There are several different things we are investigating to see if there is some kind of remedy to alleviate some of the pain of the property tax payments.”