Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey, Clerk Steve Druckenmiller and Sheriff Tim Mueller — all incumbents — were sworn into office Monday by retired senior Judge Jackson Frost, who said after the ceremony it will be the last time he serves in that official capacity.
“This is my swan song,” Frost said. “It’s time someone else, someone younger takes over. I thank you three gentlemen appearing before me today as I make my last appearance in this role.”
Frost said he remembers when he was sworn in as deputy district attorney in 1965 and then district attorney in 1968. He became a judge in 1988 and retired 12 years ago.
Frost said taking the oath of office is not “choice or a frill of office.” The framers of the U.S. and Oregon constitutions believed it was important for elected officials to vow to uphold the constitution. Doing so in a formal, public ceremony is proof they understand the importance of their obligations, he said.
Lindsey, 44, is a Republican and has served as a commissioner since 1999. In November, he defeated Democratic challenger Pete Boucot of rural Lebanon with 24,597 votes to 13,848.
Lindsey lives on Rock Hill Drive south of Lebanon and is a Navy veteran. He is a Lebanon High School graduate and attended Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University. He is an electrician and refrigeration specialist.
“The people who work for Linn County are among the best in the state,” Lindsey said. “When we go to meetings around the state and see the type of problems that pop up in other counties, it’s just not like that here.”
Druckenmiller, 60, said this was the seventh time he has taken the oath of office. He has been the county clerk since 1986 and holds the distinction of being the second-longest elected official in the county’s history. Rufus Russell served as county clerk for 40 years in the first half of the 20th century.
“I am grateful to the people I work with,” Druckenmiller said. “They are the ones who get me elected by the quality work they do.”
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Druckenmiller also thanked members of his family, “who have stood by me through so much.”
He called taking the oath, “the highlight of my life,” adding he has no plans to retire soon.
“I hope to serve for the next four years and beyond,” Druckenmiller said. “I love what I do.”
Mueller, 49, is a Tangent native, and said he considers it a privilege to serve the people of his home county.
“I’m proud to be here,” Mueller said. “I work with outstanding people and they make me look good.”
Mueller is a former volunteer firefighter and served in the military police in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, Alabama and Texas.
He was hired by former Sheriff Ken Goin in 1984 after volunteering with the sheriff’s mounted posse when he returned from military service. He worked for 17 years at the Linn County Jail and was promoted to corporal in 1989, sergeant in 1994 and lieutenant in 1998, when he also became jail commander.
In June 2001, he was named undersheriff for Sheriff Dave Burright. He was appointed sheriff in June 2005, received 77 percent of the vote in a three-way race in 2006 and ran unopposed this past November.