Elected officials to be sworn in tomorrow

Posted January 4, 2023 at 8:55 am by

The Coun­ty shares news about the swear­ing-in of eight elect­ed officials.

San Juan Coun­ty is pleased to announce the swear­ing-in of eight elect­ed offi­cials on Thurs­day, Jan. 5. The cer­e­mo­ny will take place at 9 a.m. in the Supe­ri­or Court Court­room with Supe­ri­or Court Judge Kathryn Lor­ing presiding.

Four new­ly elect­ed offi­cials will be sworn into office for the first time. The Coun­ty is pleased to wel­come them and their expertise.

Jane Fuller is the new Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber rep­re­sent­ing dis­trict three — Lopez, Shaw, and Decatur islands. She has a back­ground in inter­na­tion­al devel­op­ment as a fed­er­al civ­il ser­vant, diplo­mat and Unit­ed Nations rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and is active in local orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing the Friends of Lopez Island Pool, the Lopez Island Par­ent Teacher Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Char­ter Review Commission.

“I will be ready to pro­vide thought­ful and cre­ative lead­er­ship to address the chal­lenges coun­ty res­i­dents are fac­ing in their dai­ly lives,” said Fuller.

Natasha War­men­hoven is San Juan County’s new Audi­tor. After serv­ing as the Chief Deputy Audi­tor for the last three years, she has super­vised the Account­ing, Licens­ing, and Record­ing divi­sions, and served as the Cap­i­tal Com­mit­tee chair.

“Dur­ing my time as Chief Deputy Audi­tor, I’ve served on the Can­vass­ing Board and con­tin­ue to learn more about the Elec­tions process. I look for­ward to serv­ing the cit­i­zens of San Juan Coun­ty as your next Coun­ty Auditor.”

Amy Vira is San Juan County’s new Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney. She has served as a Deputy Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney since 2011. In addi­tion to expe­ri­ence pros­e­cut­ing both felony and mis­de­meanor crimes, Vira has broad civ­il expe­ri­ence in a vari­ety of areas includ­ing land use law, pub­lic records com­pli­ance, con­tracts, and gen­er­al lia­bil­i­ty. She will also serve as the Coun­ty Coroner.

“I look for­ward to serv­ing the cit­i­zens of San Juan Coun­ty by pro­vid­ing accu­rate and unbi­ased legal ser­vices and uphold­ing the law in a fair and just man­ner that treats vic­tims with respect and hon­ors the rights of all par­ties,” said Vira.

Eric Peter is San Juan County’s new Sher­iff. He retired as a Sergeant with the Hous­ton Police Depart­ment, has worked with the San Juan Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office on Orcas and San Juan Island since March of 2017, and brings a back­ground in pro­gres­sive polic­ing, focus­ing on de-esca­la­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

“I look for­ward to this oppor­tu­ni­ty in grow­ing a deep­er rela­tion­ship with our extra­or­di­nary com­mu­ni­ty,” said Peter. “I appre­ci­ate and am hum­bled by your support.”

The Coun­ty is pleased to wel­come back four return­ing elect­ed offi­cials. Their exper­tise ben­e­fits res­i­dents and the orga­ni­za­tion alike.

Rhon­da Ped­er­son has been serv­ing as San Juan County’s Trea­sur­er since 2015. Dur­ing her tenure, she has imple­ment­ed sys­tems to improve effi­cien­cy, com­pli­ance with new leg­is­la­tion and man­dates, stream­line ser­vices to the pub­lic, and work close­ly with tax­pay­ers fac­ing foreclosure.

“I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to serve as Trea­sur­er and remain com­mit­ted to meet­ing the needs of our cit­i­zens and the chal­lenges of the future with com­pe­tence, effi­cien­cy and ongo­ing growth and devel­op­ment,” said Pederson.

John Kulseth has been serv­ing as San Juan County’s Asses­sor since 2015. He has spent the last eigh­teen years of his career work­ing to under­stand and suc­cess­ful­ly respond to the chal­lenges of the Assessor’s Office, includ­ing mov­ing from a three-year cycli­cal re-val­u­a­tion process to an annu­al re-val­u­a­tion process, and adapt­ing to the increas­ing pub­lic desire for online information.

“I will con­tin­ue to ded­i­cate my time and effort to pro­vid­ing the ser­vice tax­pay­ers expect and pro­mot­ing an assess­ment process that is pro­fes­sion­al, fair, and clear­ly under­stood,” said Kulseth.

Lisa Hen­der­son was hired as Chief Deputy Clerk in 2014 for the Clerk’s Office and was appoint­ed by the Coun­ty Coun­cil to com­plete the unex­pired term of her pre­de­ces­sor. She was elect­ed to a full term begin­ning Jan­u­ary 2019. Dur­ing her first term, she helped nav­i­gate the unique chal­lenges brought on by the pan­dem­ic and plans to build upon her experience.

“I am com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing the work we have start­ed and to lever­age tech­nol­o­gy in a bal­anced way to best serve our com­mu­ni­ty effi­cient­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly,” said Henderson.

Car­olyn Jew­ett has been serv­ing as San Juan County’s Dis­trict Court Judge since Jan­u­ary  2019. Dur­ing her first term, Jew­ett worked along­side judges across the state at all court lev­els to ensure San Juan Coun­ty had mean­ing­ful access to the courts despite emer­gency conditions.

“It is crit­i­cal that we keep work­ing togeth­er to pro­vide fair, impar­tial admin­is­tra­tion of the law,” said Jew­ett. “I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this work as your Dis­trict Court Judge.”

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