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Linde sworn in as Superior Court judge; governor appointee won election in August
Shortly after noon on New Year's Eve, John O. Linde was sworn in to his first elected term as San Juan County Superior Court judge.
A crowd of about 30 friends, attorneys, and county officials and employees attended the courtroom ceremony in Friday Harbor. District Court Judge Stewart Andrew administered the oath.
Linde, a former District Court judge, said that taking the oath after being elected by the people was even more meaningful than the great honor of being appointed San Juan County's first full-time Superior Court judge by Gov. Christine Gregoire in December 2007. He will serve a four-year term.
Previously, San Juan County shared Superior Court judges with Island County. Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill, now an Island County-only judge, first advocated a separate judicial district for the San Juans primarily because of the growing population and caseload. The new judicial district was approved by the state Legislature.
Superior Court judges are paid $148,832 a year.
The expiring terms of other county office holders continued past the first of the year. The current County Council convened for a final, special session on Jan. 5. Two new members of the council — Richard Fralick, Orcas West; and Lovel Pratt, San Juan South — will be sworn into office Jan. 12 at 10 a.m.
County Council members are paid $34,000 a year and benefits.