Transition of power

Peaceful, seamless process is hallmark of American democracy

One of the things that makes American democracy unique took place at the Webster County Courthouse Wednesday morning.

There, in a brief ceremony, a peaceful and seamless transition of authority occurred when newly-elected county Supervisor Niki Conrad was sworn into office by Chief District Court Judge Kurt Wilke. Conrad defeated former Supervisor Merrill Leffler in the November general election.

In dozens of other countries throughout the world, a transfer of governmental authority, even at the local level, results in upheaval. In the United States, that just doesn’t happen. It’s one of the wonderful things about American life that people should never forget.

Other county officials also were sworn into office Wednesday morning.

County Supervisor Keith Dencklau continued his career in public service by beginning his fourth term in office.

New county Treasurer Brenda Angstrom is no stranger to serving the public, either. She had been a county employee for decades and made the transition to being an elected official when the voters picked her to replace former Treasurer Jan Messerly, who retired.

County Recorder Lindsay Laufersweiler took the oath of office for her second term.

County Attorney Darren Driscoll, who won his first full term in office, took his oath soon after the November election.

The officials who have been sworn in may someday find themselves being sworn at. Being an elected leader is a tough job, and it’s one in which it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

There’s also a lot of work involved in being an elected official. Indeed, veteran county supervisors may say that the weekly meeting at the courthouse is actually a small part of their workload.

We congratulate those officials who took the oath of office, and we thank them for their willingness to take on the challenge of leading our county.