by: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Michael C. Wetzel receives a black robe on Friday from Judge Robert D. Herndon.Traditions reigned in this month, as with any January after a big election, when leaders across the county took their oaths of office.

New Milwaukie city councilors Scott Churchill and Mark Gamba took their oaths on Jan. 2, on the same evening as Oregon City Commissioner Rocky Smith, who said that he was honored that voters chose to re-elect him, even though he respected his opponent Tim Powell.

Oregon City Commissioner Carol Pauli took her oath last week at a separate ceremony prior to a regularly scheduled City Hall meeting.

“It is my pleasure and honor to serve the city of Oregon City with such great citizens and just the involvement of everybody in this community,” Pauli said. “It’s truly a group effort.”

Clackamas County honored its new elected officials with a formal swearing-in last week at the Public Services Building in Oregon City. Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Susie Norby administered the oaths during a public ceremony with more than 120 people attendance.

“I want to create a government system we can trust and one we can be proud of,” said new County Chairman John Ludlow, who unseated Charlotte Lehan in November. “The types of reforms needed will not be easy, but with the right people and skills, we will progress.”

He continued, describing “a new dawn of a new day in Clackamas County,” promising open and easy access for the public.

County Assessor Bob Vroman was also sworn in at the Jan. 7 ceremony, which he said will be his last after 28 years as a public servant for the county in various capacities.

Sheriff Craig Roberts attended but did not participate in the ceremony in which the ToneSetters Barbershop Quartet sang. Roberts was sworn in later in the week. District Attorney John Foote was also elected and was sworn-in separately.

New Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Michael C. Wetzel received a formal investiture, which refers to his responsibilities to uphold the Constitution and apply justice equally, at a Clackamas County Courthouse ceremony on Friday. Wetzel argued that the ceremony wasn’t about receiving a black robe, but rather an affirmation that elected officials do what’s best for the county and country as a whole.

“We are here to serve the rewards of freedom and justice,” he told the more than 100 people in the courtroom.

County Commissioner Martha Schrader, returning to her seat as county commissioner after a term in the State Senate, said she was glad to be back serving the county. The theme of her message was community.

“We need to work together in partnerships,” Schrader said.

County Commissioner Tootie Smith also promised transparent government and open access.

“Your voice is powerful, and it will be heard. My voice is powerful, and it will be heard,” she said. “We have much to do, and we will do it together starting tonight.”

Gladstone councilors Tom Mersereau, Len Nelson and

Neal Reisner were sworn in at a regular City Council meeting last week. Re-elected Happy Valley city councilors Tom Ellis and Michael Morrow were scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

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