New county leadership

Madera County’s new sheriff/coroner, district attorney, and chairman of the board of supervisors, Jay Varney, David Linn, and David Rogers, respectively, were sworn into office Tuesday morning in the board of supervisors chambers in the Madera County Government Center in Madera. Varney and Rogers oath of office was performed by Madera County Clerk Recorder Rebecca Martinez, and Linn was sworn in by Madera County Superior Court Judge Ernie Licalsi. Martinez also swore in District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler to his third four-year term, and new county auditor controller Todd Miller.

New District 1 Supervisor Brett Frazier, former Madera mayor and city councilman, was sworn in by his mother, retired Madera County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sally Frazier. He replaces governor-appointed Manual Nevarez, who took office in 2013, after Frank Bigelow was elected to the State Assembly.

Linn takes over the districts attorney’s office after defeating incumbent Michael Keitz in November.

After the ceremony, Linn said he was honored and humbled to be the new district attorney for Madera County.

“Today was a great day to meet with my staff and I also spent time reviewing some cases,” Linn said. “I told my staff I was extremely impressed with the quality and professionalism of everyone in the office.”

Rogers won reelection in June, and in January begins his fifth year on the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Prior to being elected to the board, Rogers served on the Chowchilla City Council from 1991 through 1998. He also served two terms as mayor.

After being sworn in, Rogers commented on the past accomplishments of the county team.

“Just in the last four years we have closed a $15 million deficit, paid off $8 million dollars of debt with balanced budgets, underwent major reorganizations including the creation of the department of public works and community development and then moving them all into the government center,” Rodgers said. “There are exciting things happening in Madera County, things that didn’t just materialize. We planned together and worked together for this success. We are rapidly becoming the best County team in the State of California.”

Rodgers said that although the county is on a plateau of success, the team must continue to reach for a greater potential and always have ears open to suggestions that lead the county to excellence.

“We are people serving people to build a better way of life,” Rodgers said. “I am honored that the constituents of District 2 want me to continue in my present position,” Rogers said. “I look forward to representing all of Madera County as chairman of the board during 2015.”

In addition, office holders who won their positions in June, were part of the ceremony, including Todd Miller as county auditor-controller, and Gary Svanda as assessor, and incumbents Rebecca Martinez, county clerk-recorder, and Tracy Kennedy, treasurer-tax collector. Miller was sworn into office in June after defeating incumbent Marcia Hall, who did not finish her term of office, leaving her position the day after the election.

In a separate ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the sheriff’s department main office in Madera, Varney assumed the helm of the sheriff’s department, during a “Change of Command” ceremony with outgoing Sheriff John Anderson.

Varney and Anderson performed an inspection and review of deputies during the ceremony. Anderson, Madera County’s four-term sheriff, formerly retied during the ceremony.

Varnery has served the public for three decades in law enforcement, working as a sergeant with the Dallas Police Department, a lieutenant with the Lansing Police Department, and the past 10 years as Chowchilla’s chief of police. He also has performed the duties of city administrator for Chowchilla. Varney defeated undersheriff Michael Salvadore in November’s run-off.

“I am convinced that positive accomplishments will continue under the leadership of Sheriff Jay Varney,” Anderson said.

“It’s an honor to share this most auspicious day with John Anderson,” Varney said.

Varney defeated undersheriff Michael Salvador in the November election.

- Staff report