2009-07-16 / Front Page

Dan Swain Resigns As Commissioner

To assume chief clerk's role
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Dan Swain Dan Swain In an unexpected move late last week, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners announced one commissioner seated on its three-person board would be stepping down in order to fill the shoes of recently retired chief clerk Richard Wible.

Effective Monday, July 13, Daniel Swain Jr. relinquished his duties as county commissioner and stepped into the position of county clerk. Swain, a Republican, has logged more than 13 years with the county in the capacity of commissioner and still has approximately 2-1/2 years of his fourth term of office remaining. Prior to serving as commissioner, Swain spent a three-year stint as planning director and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) coordinator.

"Dan is well aware of the duties and responsibilities of the position of chief clerk," the commissioners stated in their announcement to all county employees on July 9. "He brings excellent administrative skills to the position including a deep knowledge of information technology and the experience of having owned and operated his own software development business."

In speaking with the "News," Swain noted even though he has always enjoyed whatever task was in front of him at the time, his years and duties as commissioner have been the most meaningful and enjoyable work that he has ever undertaken.

In 2007, Swain issued a campaign promise he would not seek office retention. In again making reference to his promise, Swain stated, "It was certainly not a lack of interest in county government that caused me to commit to not running again. I have always thoroughly enjoyed the work of commissioner and the opportunity that it provides to do good for our county."

Swain said having the opportunity to work as chief clerk will "provide an even greater opportunity to work for the county and to be engaged in the work he so much enjoys." "I must add that I would not have considered this change were it not for the confidence I have in the two commissioners with whom I have served this last year and a half. We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship, and I have great appreciation for their judgement, as well as respect for their integrity, when it comes to serving the best interest of the citizens of Fulton County," he said.

Realizing that he will have "big shoes to fill" in replacing Wible, who logged 34 years with the county, Swain stated Wible always proved to be a "wealth of knowledge about the many nuances of county government." Wible, Swain added, was also known as the "chief morale officer" and as such had a "witty sense of humor, a tremendous recall for song lyrics and had the keen ability to know how to defuse a sticky situation."

With Swain's seat on the Fulton County Board of Commissioners now vacant and multiple years still remaining on his term of office, steps are being taken to ensure a proper replacement be found within the Republican Party. Requests for appointment from interested registered Republican candidates will be solicited through August 6 by Fulton/Franklin County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Douglas W. Herman.

According to Judge Herman, in addition to requests from interested candidates with a resume, he will also be accepting written recommendations as well as comments from the general public. Any resident of Fulton County, whether registered to vote or not, can provide the court with comment or input on the appointment.

Judge Herman stated the idea behind allowing comment and input is to make the selection process as "transparent" as possible. Furthermore, the process will also allow for a wide variety of candidates with varying abilities and backgrounds to apply for the vacancy.

Herman noted he will likely be consulting with the commissioners, Republican Party officials and county Republican Chairman Mikeal Fix to help finalize his decision. The actual selection of Swain's replacement, the judge added, will occur as soon as possible following the August 6 deadline.

Recommendations, comments and requests for appointment from a qualified registered elector should be sent to President Judge Douglas W. Herman, Fulton County Courthouse, Judges Chamber, 201 N. Second Street, McConnellsburg, PA 17233.

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