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Van Wert County honors longtime commissioners PDF Print E-mail
Friday, December 21, 2012 1:30 PM

VAN WERT — It is the end of an era in Van Wert County government.

On Thursday, county employees and residents took time to celebrate and thank outgoing county commissioners Gary Adams and Clair Dudgeon at a reception in the commissioner’s conference room. Adams is retiring after serving 28 years on the job which makes him the longest-serving commissioner in the history of Van Wert County. Dudgeon is leaving his post after 12 years, tying him for the second-longest-serving commissioner in Van Wert County history.

“It will be a challenge after losing 40 years of experience,” Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger said. With two years of experience, Lichtensteiger will now be the senior member on the Van Wert County Commission.

Joining Lichtensteiger at the beginning of 2013 will be long-time Sheriff Stan D. Owens and attorney Todd Wolfrum.

During Adams’ tenure he has served with nine different county commissioners. He was the new kid on the commission at the outset of 1985, joining Burton Hoblet and E. Vaughn Morgan. Over the years, Adams has outlasted the terms of Dick Dunlap, Ava Good, Harold Merkle, George Ropp, and Gary D. Cooper.

Dudgeon was first elected in 2000 and began his service at the beginning of the following year. Of 109 commissioners in county history dating back to 1836, only Adams (1985-2012), Morgan (1981-92), Everett Jones (1973-84), and J.A. Keysor (1945-56) served as many years as a county commissioner as Dudgeon.

A string of well-wishers strolled through the conference room Thursday morning to congratulate the two honored men. Cakes for each were cut and served, and refreshments were served. Many tokens were given and hugs and handshakes were common.
Both men were also offering thanks to those who stopped. Many of the attendees were county employees or had served in various groups with either Adams or Dudgeon and sometimes with both.

Officially both men will leave their posts on Dec. 31. Owens will assume his commissioner’s seat on Jan. 2. Wolfrum’s tenure begins the following day.


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