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Saunders County officials take oath of office

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County Oath of Office 2023

County elected officials take the oath of office and a swearing-in event on Jan. 5. Pictured (from left) are new Sheriff Chris Lichtenberg, County Surveyor Jerry Charles, new District 3 county board representative Bill Reece, District 5 county board representative John Smaus, District 1 county board representative David Lutton, County Attorney Jennifer Joakim, new County Clerk Dee Anne Nice, County Assessor/Register of Deeds Rhonda Andresen, County Treasurer Amber Scanlon and County Clerk of the District Court Patty McEvoy.

WAHOO — Some new faces and some familiar ones took the oath of office to be sworn in as Saunders County elected officials last Thursday morning at the Saunders County Courthouse.

Of the nine officials sworn in, only three are new to their positions.

New Sheriff Chris Lichtenberg was sworn in to take over for the recently retired Kevin Stukenholtz, who chose not to run for reelection in 2022. Lichtenberg defeated fellow republican Curt Prohaska in the May primary election, and as no democrats ran for the office, Lichtenberg was the only name on the ballot in the general election.

Dee Anne Nice was sworn in as the new Saunders County Clerk, filling the role formerly occupied by Patti Lindgren, who served in the position for 30 years. Nice has worked in the office nearly as long as Lindgren did, having joined the county clerk’s office in 1988. She ran unopposed in the election.

On the Saunders County Board of Supervisors, Bill Reece will step into the seat left by longtime board member and District 3 representative Craig Breunig. Reece, an Ashland native, spent much of his career teaching music in the Wahoo area. He has served on the Wahoo City Council and the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation. He ran unopposed for election.

County board member John Smaus of District 5 and board chairperson David Lutton of District 1 also took the oath on Thursday. Smaus and Lutton both ran unopposed. The only board member who faced a challenge in the election was Frank Albrecht, a republican from Valparaiso. Albrecht defeated democrat Don Divis of Ceresco to retain his seat on the board. Albrecht was not present on Thursday morning for the swearing-in ceremony.

County Attorney Jennifer Joakim won her first election after running unopposed in the general election. She was previously appointed to the position in 2021 after former County Attorney Joe Dobesh resigned. Joakim lives in Valparaiso, where she runs Joakim Law Offices.

In the office of County Treasurer, Amber Scanlon, won reelection after having served in the position since 2019. Before that, she gained experience as the Deputy County Treasurer. She ran unopposed for the position.

Rhonda J. Andresen retained her position as the Saunders County Assessor/Register of Deeds, which she has held since 2018. County voters chose to consolidate the position in the 2016 general election. Andresen ran unopposed in the election.

Patty McEvoy was sworn in as the County Clerk of the District Court, a position she has held since 2014. She also ran unopposed in the election.

Finally, Jerry Charles took the oath as the Saunders County Surveyor after running unopposed in the general election. He has held the position for well over a decade.

In other county news, the county board approved the appointment of two Ithaca residents to the Green Township Board: Mary Hass and Caleb Dickes. Prior to their appointment, the board and township were in danger of becoming “inactive” under Nebraska state statute due to an excess of vacancies on the township’s board. Only Aaron Carritt ran for election to the Green Township Board in the general election, and the board needed at least one more member to remain active. Townships are usually responsible for road upkeep, such as snow removal.

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