Summit County officials take oath of office
January 6, 2015
Four years ago, Michael Howard was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Treasurer Glenn Thompson, who had fallen ill.
The job only lasted six months, but the experience inspired him to run for auditor.
"I really grew to love working with the people here in Summit County," he said. "Then fast forward four years, it was a new campaign and new chance for me."
Howard, running on the Democratic ticket, won a narrow victory in November by 56 votes over Republican opponent Gary Shumway. He will replace long-time auditor Blake Frazier, who occupied the position for 28 years.
In front of a standing-room-only crowd, Howard, along with two other newly elected and several returning officials, took the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony Monday.
Chris Robinson, Justin Martinez, Robert Hilder, MaryAnn Trussell, Steve Martin, Kent Jones, Corrie Forsling, and Howard were all inaugurated at the Summit County Courthouse.
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"I am very humbled, honored and excited to be here and serve for four years," Howard said. "You guys get me for four years, not just six months, and I’m excited.
"I know we’ll have a great time here," he added. "I’m looking forward to serving."
The ceremony was attended by county staff and family members, filling every chair in the council chambers. More than half a dozen Summit County deputies, including former sheriff Dave Edmunds, were also in the audience in support of Justin Martine, who defeated Kris Hendricksen to become Summit County’s new sheriff.
"As I look around today and see all the deputies that are here to support me, I am completely honored, thankful and humbled," Martinez said. "And I look forward to serving as sheriff, hopefully for many, many years.
"This has been, from the moment I signed up, it’s been the most humbling experience of my life," he said. "And I just want to say thanks to Sheriff Edmunds. A lot of people are staying in the same office, and I’m taking over an office from a great, well-respected man and I want to thank you for that."
"I look forward to taking it to the next level," he said, to cheers from the audience.
Martinez replaces Edmunds, who served as the department head for 12 years.
Another official who stepped into a long-held position and won a hard-fought campaign was County Attorney Robert Hilder. Hilder defeated David Brickey, who ran unopposed as the county attorney for the last 10 years, 5,323 to 4,947.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Hilder immigrated to the United States in 1977 and was appointed to the bench in 1995.
"It’s been a long road, wonderful road," he said. "It’s been full of great opportunities and I’m very glad to be serving Summit County, a place I’ve come to love with all my heart and pledge to serve."
Trussell, Martin, Jones, and Forsling, the county recorder, assessor, clerk, and treasurer, respectively, were all re-elected to their positions.
"I’m proud to have the opportunity and very excited and very thankful that the voters sawfit to give me another term," Forsling said. "I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish the first time around."
Council members Chris Robinson and David Ure were re-elected to serve on the County Council. Ure was absent from the ceremony and will be sworn in on Jan. 14.
"Six years ago, Judge Hilder swore in Claudia, David, Sally, John and myself as the inaugural County Council and I really appreciated the start you gave us then," Robinson said to Hilder. "We’ve had a good run and some of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve another four years and to work with these great people."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Robinson vacated the council chair seat and council members chose Kim Carson as the council chair. Roger Armstrong was elected co-chair.
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