The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

Newly-Elected Columbia County Officials Are Off to a Running Start


November 22, 2018

Courtesy photo

Carla Rowe

DAYTON-Newly-elected county officials Carla Rowe, Dale Slack, Anne Higgins and Chuck Amerein are gearing up to assume office on Jan. 1. They met with the Columbia County County Commissioners last week to receive encouragement and guidance.

Treasurer-elect Carla Rowe said she would like to receive training in the "underutilized" software program currently used in the Treasurer's Office, and she hopes to meet with individual department heads to discuss streamlining reports.

Rowe said she is excited to be part of the team, and she looks forward to working with Chief Deputy Treasurer Cathy Shochet, who ran against her in the November general election.

"Cathy has been very gracious," she said.

Dale Slack said he has become well acquainted with the work done in the Prosecuting Attorney's Office in his role as the county's Deputy PA, a position he has held since April 1, 2015.

Slack told the commissioners he is in the process of hiring someone to fill the deputy position when he takes over for Prosecuting Attorney Rea Culwell in January. His department is also gearing up to perform risk management duties, a role formerly held by the Public Works Department.

Anne Higgins said she has received on-the-job training for her new role as the County Auditor, since being hired in that department, in January, 2018.

Higgins discussed the upcoming payroll changes for county employees, and she shared information about the new Family Medical Leave Act, which goes into effect on January 1.

Higgings said she has just finished the important task of reconciling every county bank statement, through October "to the penny."

Chuck Amerein has been elected to the Board of County Commissioners representing District 3, and he was on hand for Tuesday's meeting.

"I am very happy. I look forward to being on the Board of County Commissioners," Amerein said. "I appreciate everyone's support."

Amerein said he will put as much energy into doing the job as he did during the arduous campaign.

The BOCC took time during the Tuesday meeting to reshuffle their meeting duties, assigning Amerein to Workforce Development and the Port's Economic Development Steering Committee, as well as the Fairgrounds Facilities, County roads and Emergency Management Services, and several others.

Amerein, Higgins and Rowe will attend training in Olympia for newly elected officials, in December.

Columbia County Sheriff-elect Joe Helm was not present at Tuesday's meeting. He was at a training workshop for Sheriffs, according to Commissioner Merle Jackson.


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