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STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER President Judge Russell Shurtleff presided over the swearing-in of county row officers Monday morning. In the front row, from left, are commissioner Tom Henry, prothonotary and clerk of courts Cindy Zika Newhart, and county auditors Laura Dickson, Ashley Darby and Judy Shupp. In the back row are commissioner Ernie King, register of wills and recorder of deeds Dennis Montross, Judge Shurtleff, sheriff Robert L. Roberts, and commissioner Rick Wilbur. Judge Shurtleff, who was approved by voters for 10 more years in a retention question on the November ballot, incidentally, was sworn in Dec. 27 before Wayne County Senior Judge Ray Hammill in Honesdale.

All county row officers and a few municipal office holders were sworn in Monday morning by Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff, but the expected re-opening of the 2020 county budget by the commissioners would have to wait until Jan. 14.

The commissioners met at 10:30 a.m., but were restricted to the business of reorganizing their body and also that of the county’s salary board.

Two-term commissioner Tom Henry opened the meeting but turned to Solicitor Paul Litwin and Chief Clerk Bill Gaylord to handle the transition of power, and asked for nominations for head of the body.

Incoming commissioner Ernie King, a Democrat, said that in deference to longstanding tradition with the leading vote getter in the previous November’s election becoming the chair, he nominated Rick Wilbur.

Vice chair is Tom Henry.

County treasurer Patti Mead was on hand to seal the salary board reorganization and also had a pile of paperwork for the new commissioners.

Before the paper signing proceeded, Litwin asked to meet with the commissioners briefly in executive session regarding a contractual matter involving real estate.

No vote was taken, with Litwin noting it was information only.

At that point, Mead moved to the table with her paperwork.

Wilbur asked if all three commissioners were responsible for signing all the checks, and Mead said that five signatures were required.

In addition to the three commissioners, two more signatures were needed- one from either the chief clerk Gaylord or Deputy chief clerk Georgette Smith and another from treasurer Mead or her assistant Carol Bardzel.

After 20 minutes of paper signing which Mead said was for financial accounts, the commissioners adjourned.

They will next meet on Tuesday, Jan. 14. at 9 a.m. in the commissioners’ conference room.