More than 70 elected officials were sworn in Friday morning, promising to serve the people of Somerset County.
Some were re-elected, like Donna Matsko Schmitt, who has served 31 years as an elected official and will start her eighth term as treasurer in January.
“I love serving the public, I love my constituents and I love Somerset County,” Matsko said.
Others will take on new roles, including Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Rullo.
“It’s going to be a transition for me, obviously having been a trial lawyer for 39 years to see these cases from the other side of the bench. So I’m looking forward to that new venture in my life,” said Judge Rullo.
Lawyers, tax collectors, council members and other local officials were all sworn in, ready to take on their new responsibilities.
Hannah Myers was appointed to first assistant district attorney. The DA’s office is prosecuting more and more drug cases.
“We have on average like 400 more criminal cases than most [Class 6] counties,” Myers said “Every year we are getting a bigger caseload. Our work and responsibilities are increasing, not just with criminal cases, but addressing community concerns like the opioid epidemic.”
The officials will face new challenges and have new goals for their time in office.
“What I would like to do is not only try the cases that are before me fairly and impartially, but also mentor some of the young lawyers that come before me,” Judge Rullo said.
Matsko Schmitt said the important thing is for the new county leaders to not get discouraged as they tackle their new roles and responsibilities.
“Just stay upbeat, always look forward, look ahead,” said Schmitt Masko.