Elected officials sworn in Jan. 5

Submitted by San Juan County.

San Juan County is pleased to announce the swearing-in of eight elected officials on Thursday, Jan. 5. The ceremony will take place in the Superior Court Courtroom with Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring presiding.

Newly Elected Officials

Four newly elected officials will be sworn into office for the first time. The County is pleased to welcome them and their expertise.

Jane Fuller is the new County Councilmember representing district three (Lopez, Shaw, and Decatur Islands). She has a background in international development as a federal civil servant, diplomat, and United Nations representative, and is active in local organizations including the Friends of Lopez Island Pool, the Lopez Island Parent Teacher Student Association, and the Charter Review Commission.

“I will be ready to provide thoughtful and creative leadership to address the challenges county residents are facing in their daily lives,” said Fuller.

Natasha Warmenhoven is San Juan County’s Auditor. After serving as the Chief Deputy Auditor for the last three years, she has supervised the Accounting, Licensing, and Recording Divisions, and served as the Capital Committee chair.

“During my time as Chief Deputy Auditor, I’ve served on the Canvassing Board and continue to learn more about the Elections process. I look forward to serving the citizens of San Juan County as your next County Auditor.”

Amy Vira is San Juan County’s Prosecuting Attorney. She has served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney since 2011. In addition to experience prosecuting both felony and misdemeanor crimes, Vira has broad civil experience in a variety of areas including land use law, public records compliance, contracts, and general liability. She will also serve as the County Coroner.

“I look forward to serving the citizens of San Juan County by providing accurate and unbiased legal services and upholding the law in a fair and just manner that treats victims with respect and honors the rights of all parties,” said Vira.

Eric Peter is San Juan County’s Sheriff. He retired as a Sergeant with the Houston Police Department, has worked with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office on Orcas and San Juan Island since March of 2017, and brings a background in progressive policing, focusing on de-escalation and communication skills.

“I look forward to this opportunity in growing a deeper relationship with our extraordinary community,” said Peter. “I appreciate and am humbled by your support.”

Re-elected Officials

The County is pleased to welcome back four returning elected officials. Their expertise benefits residents and the organization alike.

Rhonda Pederson has been serving as San Juan County’s Treasurer since 2015. During her tenure, she has implemented systems to improve efficiency, and compliance with new legislation/mandates, streamline services to the public and work closely with taxpayers facing foreclosure.

“I look forward to continuing to serve as Treasurer and remain committed to meeting the needs of our citizens and the challenges of the future with competence, efficiency and ongoing growth and development,” said Pederson.

John Kulseth has been serving as San Juan County’s Assessor since 2015. He has spent the last eighteen years of his career working to understand and successfully respond to the challenges of the Assessor’s Office, including moving from a three-year cyclical revaluation process to an annual revaluation process and adapting to the increasing public desire for online information.

“I will continue to dedicate my time and effort to providing the service taxpayers expect and promoting an assessment process that is professional, fair, and clearly understood,” said Kulseth.

Lisa Henderson was hired as Chief Deputy Clerk in 2014 for the Clerk’s Office and was appointed by the County Council to complete the unexpired term of her predecessor. She was elected to a full term beginning in January 2019. During her first term, she helped navigate the unique challenges brought on by the pandemic and plans to build upon her experience.

“I am committed to continuing the work we have started and to leverage technology in a balanced way to best serve our community efficiently and economically,” said Henderson.

Carolyn Jewett has been serving as San Juan County’s District Court Judge since January 2019. During her first term, Jewett worked alongside judges across the state at all court levels to ensure San Juan County had meaningful access to the courts despite emergency conditions.

“It is critical that we keep working together to provide fair, impartial administration of the law,” said Jewett. “I look forward to continuing this work as your District Court Judge.”