New and returning county, township officeholders are sworn in

Family and friends filled the county complex meeting room for the Dec. 31 ceremony.

Returning LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Thomas Alevizos takes the oath of office from LaPorte County Clerk Kathy Chroback.

Incoming LaPorte County Prosecutor John Lake receives the oath from Superior Court Judge Michael Bergerson.

No political animosity here as returning Republican Sheriff John Boyd gives a hug to Democratic LaPorte County Clerk Kathy Chroback.

Former Michigan City Mayor Sheila Brillson takes the oath of office to become the District 1 LaPorte County commissioner.

District 2 LaPorte County Councilman Randy Novak is sworn in by Superior Court Judge Richard Stalbrink.

District 4 LaPorte County Councilman Michael Rosenbaum is sworn in by LaPorte Superior Court Judge Greta Friedman.

Incoming Center Township Board member Bob Wellinski takes the oath from State Rep. Jim Pressel as Trustee Lisa Pierzakowski watches. (This photo by Steve Wellinski)

Superior Court Judge Greta Friedman administers the oath to Scipio Township Trustee Kaelynn Deckard as her children help hold the Bible. Looking on are board members Walt Conlin Jr., Richard Rutz and Paul Lindeman.

A digital view of part of the ceremony.

WNLP story by Bob Wellinski, photos by Bob and Steve Wellinski

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Wellinski, usually on the other side of the camera at such events, adds some of his own thoughts here as he was sworn in as a Center Township Board member, his first elected office.

There was a lot of swearing going on at the packed LaPorte County Complex meeting room Dec. 31, 2018, but it was all G-rated on this occasion. A number of LaPorte County newly elected and returning officials took their Oath of Office.

Judge, prosecutor/deputies, sheriff, assessor, commissioners, county council members, county township officials, and members of the Pottawattomie Park Town Council gathered with family and friends to take their oath. Judges Greta Friedman, Thomas Alevizos, Michael Bergerson and Richard Stalbrink, along with LaPorte County Clerk Kathy Chroback and Indiana State Representative Jim Pressel, administered the oaths to various officeholders.

“I …. do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution … ” Those words begin the Oath of Office. Words that I, along with nearly 50 other elected officials, recited Monday afternoon, Dec. 31, 2018. These heartfelt words begin four years of service for me as a member of the Center Township Board. On Nov. 6, 2018, the residents of Center Township placed their trust in myself along with fellow board members Amy Burris and Scott Ford and Trustee Lisa Snyder-Pierzakowski.

As a photographer, I have covered many elections and swearing-in ceremonies and have captured the “thrill of victory and agony of defeat” on election nights. To be on the other side of the camera is very humbling. Serving as an elected official has been something I wanted to do for a long time, and now seemed to be the right time to serve our community. In these times where, especially on the national level, there’s an us-vs.-them battle, I want to help unify our community.

Thanks to all the elected officials from both sides of the aisle who have given me insight and direction in deciding to serve. Unbeknownst to many of you, it was through our everyday conversations or chats at meetings that you left an impression on me.

Cameras captured the smiles, tears of joy and embraces during the swearing-in ceremony, but now the pomp and circumstance is over and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work in serving the people. While I know it’s impossible to make everyone happy, I pray that God gives me (and all elected officials)  the wisdom and guidance to make the best decisions for the common good.

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