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SLO County officials are sworn in to their new seats

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The sitting San Luis Obispo County supervisors welcomed newly elected and re-elected county officials alike in a short swearing in ceremony on Jan. 5. The oval chambers were packed, with walls lined by supporters and employees there to see their respective new bosses take the torch.

- SETTING THE TONE:  Dan Dow (left), who was elected as SLO County’s new district attorney in June 2014, thanked supporters and outlined his vision during his service as the county’s top prosecutor. Tommy Gong (right) was sworn in as the county clerk-recorder after being elected to the position in November 2014. -  - PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
  • PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
  • SETTING THE TONE: Dan Dow (left), who was elected as SLO County’s new district attorney in June 2014, thanked supporters and outlined his vision during his service as the county’s top prosecutor. Tommy Gong (right) was sworn in as the county clerk-recorder after being elected to the position in November 2014.

Tommy Gong, the county’s new clerk-recorder, led the way, first being sworn in himself, and then conducting the rest of the ceremony. County officials sworn in include District Attorney Dan Dow, supervisors Lynn Compton and Bruce Gibson, Sheriff Ian Parkinson, Superintendent of Schools James Brescia, Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator Jim Erb, and Assessor Tom Bordonaro, the last of
whom wasn’t present.

A few of those officials offered some comments, kicked off by a 12-minute speech by Dow, who replaced long-time District Attorney Gerald Shea after winning a hotly contested June 2014 election against Tim Covello. Dow thanked his supporters—namely the office’s deputy district attorneys—and his family, then outlined his vision for the role of his office moving forward.

“I want San Luis Obispo County to remain one of the greatest communities in America, one of the safest communities in America to live, work, and raise a family,” Dow said in his remarks, which came as part victory speech, part inaugural address.

“The power to charge someone with a crime, and to affect their liberty, is not to be exercised lightly,” Dow said. “We must truly wear a white hat in this profession.”

- STRAIGHT OUT OF NIPOMO:  Lynn Compton (left) was sworn in as the county’s new 4th District supervisor, alongside Bruce Gibson (right), who was re-elected to his third term as 2nd District supervisor. -  - PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
  • PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
  • STRAIGHT OUT OF NIPOMO: Lynn Compton (left) was sworn in as the county’s new 4th District supervisor, alongside Bruce Gibson (right), who was re-elected to his third term as 2nd District supervisor.

Dow highlighted the three main challenges he’ll focus on: the threat of an increased gang presence in the county, the presence of hard drugs like heroin and methamphetamine, and jail overcrowding.

“As your district attorney, there will be no special deal for drug dealers dealing hard drugs on our youth,” Dow said.

Compton took her seat as 4th District supervisor after winning a heated contest in November, replacing Caren Ray.

“It was rewarding to listen to and meet so many people that had honest concerns,” Compton said. “I completely enjoyed discussing the issues facing us, and walking and talking with thousands of people interested and engaged in the community.”

Bruce Gibson, re-elected to his third term to represent the 2nd District, offered a few words as well before passing the gavel over to the board’s new chair, 1st District Supervisor Frank Mecham.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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