DARKE COUNTY — Newly elected and reelected county officeholders raised their right hands and placed their left hands on the Bible to be sworn in Thursday in Darke County Common Pleas Court.
Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein administered the oath of office to nine county officials: County Sheriff Toby Spencer, County Engineer Jim Surber, Clerk of Courts Cindy Pike, County Commissioner Mike Rhoades, County Recorder Linda Stachler, County Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby, County Commissioner Matt Aultman, County Treasurer Scott Zumbrink, and County Coroner Tim Kathman.
Eight of the officials taking the oath are incumbents being reelected to their offices. Aultman is the only new electee from the county’s Nov. 8 vote, replacing outgoing Commissioner Diane Delaplane who retired after two terms.
“It’s a life-changing experience,” said Aultman. “I’m glad to have my whole family here with me today. It’s a great step forward, for the county, for myself. I’m just interested to see what the future brings.”
Aultman, who begins his 4-year term Jan. 2, was accompanied by his wife, Morgan, daughter Sophia, son William, parents Lisa and David Aultman, and grandparents Doris and Larry Aultman, as he took the oath from Judge Hein.
Before administering the oaths, Judge Hein said the county was “fortunate” to have public servants with many years of experience.
“You folks do good work, so we really ought to acknowledge that,” said Hein.
He pointed out that Surber has served as County Engineer since 1977. Sheriff Spencer and Treasurer Zumbrink have held their positions since 1993. Clerk of Courts Pike first took office in 1997. Rhoades has been a Commissioner since 2001. Stachler has served as Recorder since 2008. Dr. Kathman has been Coroner since 2007. Ormsby became Prosecuting Attorney in 2009.
Hein took time to remind the incoming officeholders of the definition of duty.
“Duty is that which is demanded by law, demanded by morality, demanded by social conscience, by military service, by one’s proper employment or oath,” he said. “That’s why you swear to do your duty. Because it’s a combination of all that. Your oath to follow the law isn’t just the standard, that’s the minimum, but the public has a high expectation. So for all these years you folks have been doing a really good job, meeting the public’s expectations, or you wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”