Commissioner Tom Kress, other county officials sworn in Monday

January 8, 2019

For the first time in recent memory, three Douglas County commissioners were sworn into office on the same date Monday.

They included Tim Freeman and Chris Boice, both re-elected to second four-year terms in November, along with newly elected Commissioner Tom Kress.

The three commissioners were sworn in alongside other recently elected county officials at a ceremony held at the Douglas County Courthouse in Roseburg.

Most of the officials were sworn in by Douglas County Clerk Patricia Hitt, but newly elected Commissioner Tom Kress was sworn in by Sheriff John Hanlin.

Hanlin, who had backed Kress during the campaign, said it was a “distinct pleasure and honor” to swear him into office.

“I’ve known Tom and his family virtually all my life, so I jumped at the opportunity,” he said.

Kress said after the ceremony he found it awe-inspiring to be sworn into office, and was thinking about the heritage behind the event.

“I’m deeply honored and overwhelmed by the responsibility that the people have bestowed on me to do this job,” he said.

He said he’s anxious to get started, adding the county has an awesome staff and department heads, and he’s looking forward to working with them.

All three commissioners will serve terms ending in January 2023.

Ordinarily, the commissioner terms are staggered. However, both Boice and Kress were elected following the resignation of previous commissioners who didn’t serve their full terms, and that has lined them up to serve the same four years as Freeman. Boice was elected to his first four-year term in 2014 to replace longtime commissioner Doug Robertson after Robertson retired early. Kress is taking the seat formerly held by Gary Leif, who was first appointed and then elected in 2018 to the state legislature.

Other officials sworn in Tuesday included Assessor Heather Coffel, Surveyor Kris DeGroot and South County Justice of the Peace Machelle Briggs-Mayfield.

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