Crider takes over as auditor

Former City Councilwoman Sheilah Crider has been all smiles since she was appointed Island County Auditor by the county commissioners last Wednesday.

The elation spread to the Law and Justice Building Monday afternoon when Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock swore Crider into office, effectively replacing Suzanne Sinclair, the auditor of 10 years who accepted a job in New York state.

The road to the final appointment was unexpectedly circuitous and not dissimilar to a roller coaster ride. But in the end, the Republicans found their candidate.

Gathering for a new swearing-in ceremony has become almost a ritual on the county campus. Commissioner Mike Shelton’s replacement, former Planning Director Phil Bakke, packed the house in September when he took his oath. Never opposed to a soiree, a festive gathering ensued.

The turnout for Crider was no less impressive. A cross section of county employees and community members filled the courtroom. Following a characteristically pithy introduction by Commissioner Mac McDowell, Hancock took the opportunity to praise Crider’s track record as an elected official and Oak Harbor resident.

While the judge acknowledged that the position of auditor is not the most glamorous the county has to offer, he underscored the significance of the post and the vital role the office plays.

Since the selection process began, news of the county department’s exemplary employees has risen to the surface. Crider said she is proud to work with the group and extremely grateful to have Anne LaCour as her chief deputy. And the self-effacing LaCour seemed grateful to be back at her former job.

Crider said Friday after a hectic two days that her appointment itself is an honor, but the job ahead of her is waiting and she is anxious to dive in headfirst.

“I am going to work very hard with the highly professional men and women in the department of auditor and I look forward to the coming presidential primary and it going smoothly and us proceeding on with the business of the auditor’s office as it has been done in the past,” she said.

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