By Erik Walsh
The News Staff
ATHEN–Each Jan. 1, elected county officials across America are sworn in to begin their tenure. This year five such officials gathered at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex to make their vows of service, while simultaneously three more affirmed their oaths across the street at the County Court at Law Courtroom.
At the Courthouse Annex, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Randy Daniel, JP 2 Judge Kevin Pollock, JP 3 Judge Tony Duncan, District Clerk Betty Herriage and County Commissioner Precinct 2 Wade McKinney took the honored vows to serve the residents of Henderson County. Former JP 3 Judge Sue Starnes swore in Duncan in a touching ceremony and exchange between friends, while Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders swore in Daniel, Pollock, Herriage and McKinney.
Former Athens Mayor Randy Daniel began his first full term as JP 1. He has already served in that capacity since 2013 after being appointed to an unexpired term. Likewise, former Seven Points Mayor Kevin Pollock and Tony Duncan began their first terms as justices. Betty Herriage made the move to District Clerk from the District Attorney’s office, where she served since 1996.
While the majority of officials took their first county-level oath during the brisk January morning, one official reaffirmed his oath for a fifth term in office. Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney was first elected commissioner in 1999 at 28 years of age. McKinney begins his 16th year as County Commissioner.
During a break from the seriousness of the swearing in cremony, McKinney lightened the mood by stating of all the County Judges he’s served with, Sanders was “My favorite.”
In another light-hearted moment, Starnes advice to incoming justices was a reminder that common sense is “not common.”
Across the street at the County Court at Law Courtroom, three other officials began their terms or renewed their oaths. Prescient 4 County Commissioner Ken Geeslin began his second term after successfully gaining reelection in November.
New County Court at Law Judge Matt Williams was sworn in to his first term after winning the Republican Primary last March. He was unopposed in the November general election.
Also, Mary Margaret Wright began her first official term as County Clerk after serving in that capacity by appointment since the retirement of Gwen Moffeit last March.
Former Court at Law Judge Matt Livingston administered the oaths.