By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Recently elected county officials spent the first morning of 2013 taking oaths of office toward their appointed titles.
Local officials sworn in Tuesday morning included District Judge Janelle Haverkamp, District Attorney Janice Warder, County Attorney Ed Zielinski, County Sheriff Terry Wayne Gilbert, Tax Assessor-Collector Billie Jean Knight, County Treasurer Patty Brennan, Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell, Precinct 3 Commissioner Al Smith, Precinct 1 Constable Chris Watson and Precinct 4 Constable Russ Harper.
Gilbert, Zielinski and Brennan were among the first-term officials while others began the year of service as incumbents. Gilbert, who replaces the 15-year term of sheriff Mike Compton, said he was humbled by Tuesday’s crowd and reception at Cooke County Courthouse.
“There’s plenty of people here to show support for me and my family,” he said. “It’s all about the citizens of Cooke County and that’s what we’re here for. We serve the citizens and today, I think, shows a good example of how we’re all ready to serve.”
The newly elected sheriff said his platform of service will place a major emphasis on communication between the public and law enforcement.
“We can’t do it without the citizens’ help,” he said. “We encourage them to help us as much as they can and in turn, we’ll help the citizens as much as we can.”
Zielinski’s term replaces that of Tanya Davis, who served as county attorney from 1995 through this past December. As in months past, he described his service platform as having an increased amount of cooperation and coordination between his office and local law enforcement agencies.
“I’m grateful for the chance to do a public service and to use my skills to the best advantage for them,” Zielinski said. “We’re going to try to improve efficiency and ensure that justice is done — for not only the community but also the law enforcement groups and the citizens in the county. We’re going to make sure work is done in a very pragmatic, very cost-efficient manner and we’ll move cases along to a just result. So what I’m going to do is make the best opportunities for all concerned in that court. That means we have to do justice by everyone who comes through that court. That’s my plan.”
Another official sworn in during Tuesday’s ceremony was Justice Bob McCoy, who was newly re-elected to Place 4 of the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth. The Second Court of Appeals serves 12 counties in north central Texas, including Cooke County. McCoy was appointed to the court by Governor Rick Perry in 2003. He was subsequently elected and reelected, most recently in November.