TAYLOR COUNTY—Family members and friends gathered in the Taylor County Circuit Courtroom on Friday, but the occasion was a happy one.
Surrounded by loved ones, Sam Gerkin took his oath of office, while being sworn in as Taylor County’s newest county commissioner.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone that has come to witness me take my oath of office today. Your support now, and throughout the election, means so much to me,” commented Gerkin.
Before being sworn in, 19th Judicial Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats shared a few words about Gerkin’s new position.
“This is a unique occurrence this morning, to be here to swear in our new county commissioner Sam Gerkin, because it seems like only yesterday, I was playing football with his father, Steve,” said Moats.
He noted it was wonderful to have someone that he grew up with in the courtroom to see his son being sworn in, alongside his grandchildren.
“It is amazing how time goes by, isn’t it,” Moats voiced. “To see someone you went to school with have kids who have grown into a responsible adults and leaders of the community, and then to see two little ones who will someday be in that position, it is a pleasure.”
Moats touched on the involvement of the Gerkin family in the community. Gerkin’s grandmother diligently served as a dedicated city council member for some years.
“I remember coming to a council meeting and your grandmother had fallen and broken her shoulder. I told her she needed to get to the hospital, but she refused saying she would go afterward, because she had a job to do,” Moats revealed. “That was just Marjorie. She put her community and family above herself. That is the Gerkin tradition in Taylor County, and I know that’s the tradition you will maintain.”
The judge said he believes that by working alongside the sitting commissioners, great things will happen for the community.
“Just remember, you can have differences of opinion and can disagree, but you don’t have to be disagreeable while doing so,” Moats expressed. “I think that’s the key, Sam, to what you are going to be doing. As a team, everyone will bring their own unique perspective.”
He added that by listening to one another, issues can be worked through and resolved. He also shared that while the position is a serious one, that it is important to remember to laugh and enjoy the job.
“I have always been a sports guy. Forever growing up, it was always which sport is next,” voiced Gerkin. “The thing about sports is, when an individual does the best he can do, the team succeeds. And that’s what we are, a team.”
He shared that through cooperation, things will take off and good things will happen for the county and its residents.
“Tony and Orville, I appreciate your being here today in support of me, and I look forward to working with you to serve the people of Taylor County,” Gerkin imparted.
Additionally, during the morning, Keith Skeen was joined by Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord, as he was sworn in as the county’s newest Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
“John said he has finally convinced Keith to come over from the dark side,” jested Moats. “He was a public defender in Harrison County for a long time, before moving to Barbour County.”
Moats said that it is his belief that Skeen will be a great fit for the position, because he is a very accomplished attorney who has done a great job for his clients.
Additionally, Ron Hunt took an oath promising to act as the investigator for the Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, a job that he has been performing for some time now.
Christopher Miller was sworn in as the Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, after the previous Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Nines was named as a Circuit Judge.
“We expect great things from you,” said Moats to Miller. “Congratulations on your new position.
Nines will be sworn in as a 19th Judicial Circuit Court Judge during an open ceremony on Wednesday, January 2, at 1:30 p.m., in the Barbour County Court House, located at 26 North Pike Street, Philippi.