York County's new officials take oath

Greg Gross
Mike Flannelly, who was elected York County Court of Common Pleas Judge, puts on his robe with the help of his wife, Peggy.

Former York County solicitor Mike Flannelly ceremoniously slid on the long black judge's robe for the second time in his career as he and 16 other newly elected and re-elected county officials were sworn in on Monday.

"I'm filled with gratitude for this opportunity to return to the bench," he told the standing-room-only crowd that filled the ceremonial courtroom in the county's administration building.

Flannelly, 59, of Spring Garden Township, served on the county Court of Common Pleas bench for about a year and a half after he was appointed to the post in 2012 following Judge Chuck Patterson's untimely death. However, he lost the 2013 election, and he returned to his role as the county's solicitor.

Voters returned Flannelly to the bench during the November election, when they also elected York City-based attorney Chris Menges, 64, to a 10-year term. Both have been assigned to family court.

"To know that I'm going to be around for a full 10 years is just incredible," he said.

Family: Many of the officials were joined by family members and friends as they took their oaths.

Chris Menges, who was elected York County Court of Common Pleas Judge, is surrounded by family as he takes the oath of office.

Menges was surrounded by family and brought a Bible he used to take his oath. The Bible belonged to his daughter, Katy, who died in 2011.

"I'm so confident she's up in heaven watching these proceedings," he said.

Family and friends are often the people who worked long hours to get the officials elected, making it fitting for them to take part in the joyous ceremony, said Barb Bair, after she was sworn in to another term as county treasurer.

"None of this would be possible without the people who work behind the scenes," she said.

Having dedicated and skilled staff in the various row offices also helps, said Brad Jacobs, who was re-elected to a fifth term as register of wills/clerk of orphan's court.

"I have been particularly blessed over the past 16 years with a staff who have been second to none," he said. "These past elections have always made me feel as though my efforts have been meaningful and responsive to the needs of the residents of York County.

Noticeably absent from the ceremony was Don O'Shell, who was re-elected to a fourth term as clerk of courts, who is on active duty with the Air Force.

O'Shell was previously sworn in before he reported for duty, said Carl Lindquist, the county spokesman.

Re-elected York County commissioner Doug Hoke and newly elected commissioner Susan Byrnes take their oaths of office.

Commissioners: Susan Byrnes, who was elected county commissioner, was also surrounded by her family when she was sworn in.

Byrnes unseated longtime Commissioner Steve Chronister in November. She joined commissioners Doug Hoke, who was elected to a third term, and Chris Reilly, who won a fifth term, on the board.

Re-elected York County Commissioner Chris Reilly is sworn in to office.

"Only in America can a little girl from Spry come to 28 E. Market St. (the York City address of the county administration building) and become a county commissioner," she said. "I'm very grateful that you gave your faith to me."

Here's a look at the officials who were sworn in on Monday:

  • Joseph C. Adams, president judge of the Court of Common Pleas (retained)
  • John S. Kennedy, judge of the Court of Common Pleas (retained)
  • Maria Musti Cook, judge of the Court of Common Pleas (retained)
  • Chris Menges, judge of the Court of Common Pleas (newly elected)
  • Mike Flannelly, judge of the Court of Common Pleas (newly elected)
  • Doug Hoke, county commissioner (re-elected)
  • Chris Reilly, county commissioner (re-elected)
  • Susan Byrnes, county commissioner (newly elected)
  • Barry Bloss Jr., magisterial district judge (re-elected)
  • John H. Fishel, magisterial district judge (re-elected)
  •  Linda  Williams, magisterial district judge (re-elected)
  •  Jennifer Clancy, magisterial district judge (newly (elected)
  •  Laura Manifold, magisterial district judge (newly elected)
  • Richard  Keuerleber, sheriff (re-elected)
  • Barbara L. Bair, treasurer (re-elected)
  • Don R. O'Shell, clerk of courts (re-elected, previously sworn in)
  • Bradley Jacobs, register of wills & clerk of orphan's court (re-elected)
  • Pam Lee, prothonotary (re-elected)

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.