The swearing in ceremony for newly elected Mineral County officials was held on Tuesday, Dec. 10 with Judge Jim Shirley, 11th District Court Judge presiding.

Instead of simply asking those in attendance to raise their right hand and repeat the oath of office, Judge Shirley discussed the importance of the ceremony.

“The swearing in ceremony is an interesting ceremony because typically you are going to raise your right hand. In raising your right hand is actually how they used to do oaths, we are talking way back in history. Way back in history, they would swear oaths and when you raised your hand, you were swearing in the presence of God and the person before you. So it was kind of sacred obligation that you agreed to take on and we have continued that tradition in our society.”

He asked those who were standing before him if they had ever read the oath before.

“What you are basically swearing allegiance to is you will follow the law and you will uphold the Constitution, first and foremost. Our Constitution, of course, is the framework for everything we do in society. It is what made this Nation what it is. When that Constitution was drafted back in the 1700’s, it made us a great Nation. We have never had a coup, we’ve never had the things you see in other countries because we have a Constitution that governs the transition of power, every time we get a new president in, it governs that, all the way down to the small boards. Top to bottom we see this notion of Constitution. “

Directing his comments again to those seated, he said, “So you are making an obligation to yourself.”

Taking the oath were Mike James – Hawthorne Township Justice Court Judge elect; Beth Cichowlaz, Mineral County Public Administrator; Karen Womack, Mt. Grant General Hospital Board Trustee and Sheriff Randy Adams. Back row, left to right: Shelley Hartmann, Walker Lake General Improvement District board member; Kathy Castagnola, Mineral County School Board trustee; Gary Schaaf, Mineral County Constable; Mineral County Assessor Kevin Chisum; Cindy Nixon, Mineral County Recorder-Auditor elect and Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper.

Judge Shirley took time to shake the hands of each person who took the oath of office.

The official day for newly elected officials to start their political career begins on Jan. 1, 2019.