It was a time to welcome new Barton County commissioners, as well as returning commissioners and other county officials Monday morning. The swearing-in ceremony for those elected or reelected in the Nov. 3, 2020, general election took place in the courthouse’s main courtroom.
The gallery was full of those taking their oaths, as well as their family and friends.
Twentieth Judicial District Chief Judge Mike Keeley, (in his last official act before retirement) administered the oaths of office to those whose terms started Monday. They were:
• Commissioners James R. Daily (reelected to serve District 4).
• Barb Esfeld (District 2, replacing Kruckenberg who did not seek reelection).
• Shawn Hutchinson (District 3, replacing Davis who did not seek reelection).
• County Clerk Donna Zimmerman.
• Register of Deeds Pam Wornkey.
• County Attorney Levi Morris.
• Sheriff Brian Bellendir.
• District Judge Lisa Beran.
• District Judge Steve Johnson (named chief judge to replace Keeley).
• Treasurer James Jordan was sworn in, although his term won’t begin until Oct. 12. According to state law, unlike other elected county officials who are who start their terms in January, the county treasurer’s term in office coincides with the county tax year.
• Also sworn in were Barton County Sheriff’s Office deputies. This took place in the courthouse first floor rotunda.
Commissioners had convened their Monday meeting in their first-floor chamber to honor outgoing commissioners Don Davis and Homer Kruckenberg, and the late Commissioner Kenny Schremmer. They then recessed to the third-floor courtroom for the ceremony.
After commissioners resumed their meeting, they elected Jim Daily as commission chairman and Shawn Hutchinson as chairman pro tem, and handled other start-of-year reorganization matters.