By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Lewis County Sheriff-elect Rob Snaza won’t be sworn in until Dec. 30, but is already busy planning for changes.
According to the results of the election certified and made official yesterday morning, Snaza took 77 percent of the vote. His opponent Brian Green garnered not-quite 23 percent.
Snaza, the Napavine area Republican who’s worked at the sheriff’s office about two decades, met with the Lewis County Board of Commissioners before lunchtime, to discuss some of what will be different under his administration.
“Schools are huge, our number one emphasis in 2015,” Snaza said.
He spoke of deputies working more closely with students, and his plans for “active shooter” drills in school buildings.
Specifically, the reason for the meeting was to talk about the transition of the emergency management division out of the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Steve Mansfield is the director of emergency management, and will leave office at the end of the year.
“Some years ago, the board of county commissioners made the sheriff the head of that,” Lewis County Commissioner Lee Grose said. “The thinking has been, we should have a full time manager; and we’re looking for one now.”
The issue of schools came up as they spoke of logistics, and Snaza said he’d need that office space for a new special services sergeant, someone who would oversee a variety of programs.
Snaza told Commissioners Grose and Edna Fund he hoped next month to introduce to them his undersheriff, a captain with the Washington State Patrol he’s known for 20 years.
Snaza began attending the sheriff’s monthly meetings with county commissioners about the same time he was promoted from sergeant to undersheriff in early September.
His campaign for the top law enforcement job began in April of last year.
His only opponent, a musician in a band who ran as an independent and focused on preserving gun rights, took 5,144 votes in the Nov. 4 election. Snaza got 17,546 votes.
Snaza’s twin brother John Snaza was elected Thurston County sheriff in 2010.
Already the two of them have announced a joint event in which they will be “jailed” in a cell in the food court at Capital Mall in Olympia next month, and challenge the public to raise at least $20,000 by “bailing” them out.
The idea is to build awareness of the importance of mentoring
and to raise money to ensure more kids have consistent role models through Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Washington.
The benefits can be seen in the juvenile justice system, according to Sheriff John Snaza.
The average cost to incarcerate a juvenile for a nine to 12 month period is approximately $66,000 to $88,000, according to the Thurston County sheriff.
“Every day I see cases where a child without a trusted role- model wanders down a destructive path,” Sheriff John Snaza stated in a news release yesterday. “What a difference it would make if even one of these youth had a mentor,” continues Snaza.
The so-called “Big Bail Out” with the twin sheriffs will take place from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Dec. 2.
Also from the final results of the election:
• Centralia attorney Wade Samuelson was elected Lewis County District Court judge. He ran unopposed for the four-year term and replaces retiring Judge Michael Roewe. Ten-year veteran of the bench, Lewis County DIstrict Court Judge R.W. Buzzard was unopposed and secured another term.
• Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, (R), unopposed, won a second four-year term.
• Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod, (R), also unopposed, won a second four-year term. McLeod says the board of commissioners have agreed to fund his position full time beginning next year, instead of the traditional part time.
• Lewis County Clerk Kathy Brack, (R), first elected in 2002, ran unopposed and won another four-year term.
• Arny Davis, (R), ran unopposed and will be the new Lewis County treasurer, replacing outgoing Rose Bowman.
• Larry Grove, (R), with 70 percent of the vote, beat Jennifer Slemp, (D), to become Lewis County auditor. Longtime Auditor Gary Zandell is retiring.
• Gary Stamper, (R), took 54 percent of the vote against Rich Bainbridge, (R), to become one of three members of the Lewis County Board of Commissioners, replacing Grose.
• The race for Lewis County assessor is so close, a required hand recount will be conducted on Monday. Incumbent Dianne Dorey, (R), has 10,691 votes, while Candy Hallom, (R), has 10,662.
See all the election results here