Six Sedgwick County officials took their oath of office Sunday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Sedgwick County Courthouse.
Nearly 100 people attended the event which included officials thanking their families, supporters and sometimes mapping out their intentions for their next terms in office.
Some drew laughs from the crowd.
“I want to thank my wife, Susan, for all the support she has given me,” said Tim Norton, Sedgwick County commissioner, 2nd District. “I’ve run four campaigns as county commissioner, three as mayor, and five as a City Council member. She has walked plenty of neighborhoods, sent out plenty of mailings, made plenty of callings and smiled plenty of times with people she didn’t want to smile with. So, thank you, Susan.”
Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter was surrounded by family when he took his oath, joshing at first that he was the new guy and didn’t know he was to give a speech.
But then, he grew somber and recalled his brother, Kevin, a Sedgwick County sheriff’s officer who was shot to death 17 years ago..
“This is very important, for us, for me,” Easter said. “I have four years to prove to you all why you voted for me. I will do that.”
Some thanked their supporters and even those who didn’t support them.
“I want to thank the ones who have supported me and also the ones who didn’t vote for me,” said Sedgwick County Register of Deeds Bill Meek. “I still work for you. The Register of Deeds office is the office for filing anything that affects real estate – mortgages, deeds, tax liens and federal and state uniform commercial codes.
“We do it all … The Register of Deeds people upstairs care more about the documents that are filed in our office than anyone else does. Their goal … when you leave the office is that you will swear up and down you have not been in a government office. You will feel well taken care of. We don’t care what problem you have with the county government, we are there to help you find the answer. It is your office. Your office to come and visit. We have 3 chairs and no waiting. Please come up and visit.”
Sedgwick County commissioner from the 3rd District, Karl Peterjohn read quotes from the inaugural speeches of Presidents Grover Cleveland, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The quotes reflected on responsible government.
Others acknowledged their first terms in office had obstacles.
“As you are all aware, we did have some challenges in the treasurer’s office with the implementation of a new motor vehicle system and we are continuing to work on improvements to that system and the new tax system,” said Sedgwick County Treasurer Linda Kizzire. “We have a truly dedicated staff of men and women who are truly the face of Sedgwick County.”
Sedgwick County Clerk Kelly Arnold said he was proud to have been fiscally responsible with the budget and develop a system to transfer real estate records into a searchable data base and to have an office staff passionate about their work.
“I am very humbled God has allowed me to serve in this capacity,” Arnold said.
In his speech, Norton said he would use his next term to champion a child advocacy center.
The center is “to serve the children that for whatever reason are neglected, abused, hurt and thrown away,” Norton said. “Children are our future and I pledge today that my next four years will be centered on that.”