York County Board members remember Commissioner Ziegler, clerk explains vacancy process

YORK – When the York County Commissioners convened in regular session Tuesday morning, Dec. 26, Chairman Randy Obermier reflected on the service of the late Commissioner Woody Ziegler, who unexpectedly passed away 10 days ago (since their last meeting) and was laid to rest last Friday.

Obermier noted, before they said the Pledge of Allegiance, he wanted to remember a lesson taught to them by Commissioner Ziegler.

“I’m reminded of him talking to me, aside from the board, after his very first board meeting when he was appointed earlier in the year,” Obermier said. “He shared with me how there should be no pause in the phrase ‘one nation under God.’ It should be said without a pause between the words ‘nation’ and ‘under,’” to reflect no hesitation, as explained by Ziegler in his second meeting. “I have tried to be conscious of how I say it ever since. As we say the pledge this morning, I want us to remember Woody and his family during this trying time they are going through.”

There was indeed no hesitation between the words “nation” and “under God,” as the small crowd in Tuesday’s attendance reflected on Ziegler’s lesson and wishes while saying the pledge.

Ziegler’s absence was indeed felt during the last meeting of the calendar year, as topics he had been passionate about came up for action.

At the end of the meeting, Obermier then had to revisit the issue of the vacancy which now, unfortunately, exists on the board.

“We were just here a year ago,” Obermier said, referring back to how a vacancy existed after Commissioner Kurt Bulgrin became the county assessor. “We had five applicants back then, Woody was one of them, and I would assume we will have a pool of applicants again.

“Since Woody’s passing, I’ve had calls from people asking us, “What do you do now? Well, we do nothing. A select group will take that on,” Obermier continued.

The matter of a board vacancy is handled by the county clerk, county attorney and county treasurer, per state statute.

York County Clerk Kelly Turner said she, York County Attorney Gary Olson and York County Treasurer Megan Williams have met since Commissioner Ziegler’s death.

“We have 45 days to appoint a new commissioner,” Turner explained. “Interested persons need to send me their resumes by Jan. 12. We hope to go through the interview process at 5 p.m., on Jan. 16. If we pick a commissioner on that night, they will take the oath and be sitting on the board by Jan. 23.”

The interview process is public and members of the public are encouraged to attend if they wish.

“We, as a board of commissioners, don’t have to do anything formally, we don’t have to declare a vacancy, the vacancy was created upon Woody’s death,” Obermier said. “This group (clerk, attorney and treasurer) statutorily is charged with the next steps.”

Obermier also noted, “The twist this time, however, is that the appointed seat will be up for election in 2024. The person appointed will become an incumbent and will have to file to run for election, which I would hope they would want to do, by Feb. 15.”

This position represents District 2. District 2 consists of the following voting precincts: Stewart, Thayer, New York, Waco, Beaver, West Blue and Ward 1 in the city of York. Interested persons living in this district are encouraged to apply with the clerk’s office.

 

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