Greene County elected officials sworn in at ceremony

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WAYNESBURG – A crowd filled the main courtroom of the Greene County Courthouse Thursday morning to observe as newly elected township, borough and county officials took the oaths of office administered by Greene County President Judge William R. Nalitz and Judge Farley Toothman.

Officials on the county level taking the oath included Sheriff Brian Tennant, District Judge Lee Watson and Donna Tharp, first deputy register and recorder of deeds, who will assume the position of acting register and recorder of deeds, filling in for Thomas Headlee, who retired Tuesday after 38 years in office.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mary Lewis also took the oath. Her supervisor, Coroner Gregory Rohanna, who was re-elected in November, was not present at the ceremony because of illness. Eleven township and borough officials also came before the court to take their oaths.

Prior to administering the oaths, Nalitz spoke briefly about the oath and the seriousness of the obligations that accompany public office.

State law requires that before a person can assume public office he or she must swear to support, obey and defend the constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania, he said.

“Those constitutions are our foundations,” Nalitz said. “They determine how we set up our government, but even more fundamentally, they describe the process by which we as a community, whether as a borough, township, county or commonwealth, arrive at decisions.”

The process of making those decisions is called politics, often considered a “dirty word,” Nalitz said. That should not be the case, however, he said.

“Making decisions about the common good is an important and honorable profession,” Nalitz said. “Those of you who take the oath of office today have the opportunity to show your constituents that the decision-making process that you participate in has been done in an open and ethical manner.”

The oath requires a public office holder to fulfill his duties “with fidelity … faithfully and consciensciously,” Nalitz said. “This is a serious obligation.”

Nalitz asked the new public servants to remember the oath they took Thursday must be upheld each and every day they remain in office. “Your promise to discharge the duties of your office with fidelity are just as binding on the last day of your term as on the first,” he said, wishing the new public servants the best of luck in their careers.

Municipal officials present to the take the oath were: David Jack, Carmichaels Borough mayor; Steven Dulik, Jefferson Borough councilman; David Logan, Aleppo Township supervisor; George Chory, Dunkard Township supervisor; Corbly Orndorff, Franklin Township supervisor; Mike Rudolph Sr., Monongahela Township supervisor; Troy Smith, Washington Township supervisor; Joyce Watson, Center Township tax collector; Margie Mason, Franklin Township tax collector; Joan Lemley, Wayne Township tax collector; and Barbara Mooney, Morris Township tax collector.

Attending the ceremony was not required of newly elected officials. Other officials elected in November who did not attend the ceremony were sworn in earlier or will be sworn in before assuming office.

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