UNION COUNTY — As it does every year following an election year, 2017 began with newly elected and reelected county officials being sworn-in to office.
On Nov. 8, 2016, voters in Union County went to the polls to cast their ballots for a variety of local, state, federal, and national offices.
Among the local offices on the ballot were the Union County Council Districts 2, 3, 5, and 6 council seats, the Office of Union County Clerk of Court, and the Office of Sheriff of Union County.
On Tuesday, the winners of of those races were sworn-in during a ceremony held in the Main Courtroom of the Union County Courthouse with each having their Oath of Office administered to them by John C. Hayes III of York.
The ceremony began with remarks by Union County Supervisor Frank Hart.
“On behalf of Union County, welcome to our Swearing In Ceremony,” Hart said. “It is a new year, and this is an exciting time in Union County. We have an outstanding group of people who will assume their leadership roles today. Some are returning as seasoned veterans who will bring years of experience to their roles and some are newcomers who will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas, but all share a common goal to improve the quality of life for our people in Union County.
“I want to thank Ms. Miller and my staff for making the arrangements for today’s ceremony, Judge Hayes and Rev. Jennings for their participation, and most of all the elected officials and officers here today for their willingness to serve the people of Union County,” he said. “May God bless you and guide you this year and in the years to come.”
Clerk Of Court
The first to be sworn-in was Union County Clerk of Court Melanie Lawson who took the Oath of Office with her hand on a copy of The Bible held by her son, Rockey Lancaster.
After being sworn-in, Lawson recognized three people who she said had worked very had for her election as Clerk of Court including former sheriff William Jolly and his wife, Martha, and Ginger McKnight. She then thanked her family and the people of Union County “for making this possible.”
Lawson said “I will work for the staff and the people of Union. I have been dedicated for the past 27 years and I will continue that dedication.”
In addition to the swearing-in of the newly elected or reelected officials, Tuesday’s ceremony also included the swearing of the deputies of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. While the Oath of Office was administered to the county officials by Hayes, it was administered to the deputies by Lawson in her first official act as Clerk of Court.
Sheriff David Taylor was the next official to be sworn-in by Hayes. Taylor’s wife, Kathy Jo, stood with him as he took the Oath of Office while his mother, Ethel Taylor, held the copy of The Bible he was sworn-in on.
After taking the Oath of Office, Taylor said “thank you for reelecting me to serve as your sheriff for four more years. As this election has shown by the resounding 2-to-1 margin of victory, your confidence in our department is strong. Let me assure you that I still have the same fire and enthusiasm to serve you today as I did eight years ago when you elected me sheriff of Union County. When I lose that enthusiasm to serve you and not give your 100 percent I will not seek reelection.”
Taylor thanked his wife, his mother, children, and grandchildren, telling them “I love each and every one of you with all my heart. Thank you for your support. For all those that have supported me over the last eight years I thank you.”
The next official to be sworn-in by Hayes was District 2 Union County Councilman Ralph Tucker who took the Oath of Office with his hand on a copy of The Bible held by his wife, Sandra.
After being sworn-in, Tucker said “I want to thank the people of District 2 for electing me to a second term.” He said his service on county council “is about the people of Union County.”
Hayes next administered the Oath of Office to District Union County Councilman David Sinclair who was sworn-in with his hand on a copy of The Bible held by his wife, Sonja.
In his remarks following his being sworn-in, Sinclair, who is serving his first term on council, began by saying “I am truly honored and also humbled to be standing before you today. I would also like to thank my Lord and Savior for the opportunity He has given me. I do not take it lightly.”
Sinclair said “to my family and especially my wife, thank you for standing by my side. She is truly amazing.”
In thanking those in the community who supported him, Sinclair asked them for their continued support.
“For those of your who have been such a tremendous help along this journey so far, thank you so much,” Sinclair said. “I hope you will continue to give me your support and input.
“Thank you Union County for the confidence you have placed in me in electing me to this position,” he said. “I will try my best to represent you well in each and every decision I make.”
Sinclair then addressed Hart and the other members of Union County Council, saying he looked forward to working side by side with them and that he felt that, together, they can shape and form a new future for the people of Union County.
The next to be sworn-in by Hayes was District 5 Union County Councilman Tommie L. Hill who took the Oath of Office with his hand on a copy of The Bible held by his son, Tommie Hill Jr.
Hill said that “it is a great privilege to be part of Union County” and briefly reviewed his career as a public servant which included 31 years as a police officer, eight years as a member of Union City Council, and now his first term on county council. He said that 30 years ago he saw things that needed changing and that today still need changing and that he feels they can be changed but it will take everybody pulling together.
As councilman, Hill said that “my goal is working with people working together.” He thanked the people of District 5 for electing him and said that his door will always be open and his phone always available to those who need his help.
The last official to be sworn-in by Hayes was District 6 Union County Council Woman Kacie Petrie who took the Oath of Office with her hand on a copy of The Bible held by her husband Shane.
Petrie said that “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on council for a third term. I am looking forward to four more years.”
The ceremony also included opening and closing prayers by Rev. Charlie Jennings.
For more about the swearing-in ceremony including the deputies of the Union County Sheriff’s Office taking the Oath of Office see Saturday’s edition of The Union Times and at our website (www.uniondailytimes.com) and our Facebook page.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.