July 25– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, approved today a lease agreement with Life’s a Beach USA, LLC, for 1,400 SF of space located at Mt. Pleasant Glass Centre in Mt. Pleasant Township.
June 24– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, approved an option agreement with Al. Neyer, LLC, for approximately 13.39 acres located at Westmoreland Technology Park II in Hempfield Township.
March 7– The Norwin Alumni & Friends Association, in coordination with the Norwin School District Community Foundation, is proud to announce the 2019 class of Distinguished Alumni.
Throughout their lives, these honorees have demonstrated how the quality education they received, along with the support of a nurturing community, can serve as a springboard to great achievements:
February, 26– A volunteer coalition of nonprofit, philanthropic, government and business leaders announced today that they have formed the Westmoreland Complete Count Committee to ensure that as many county residents as possible participate in the 2020 Census. The group’s first activity will be to recruit a larger volunteer steering committee whose members will serve as ambassadors for the census, creating awareness of its importance and encouraging their networks to participate and even to apply for jobs as census workers.
February, 21– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, approved an option agreement with Al. Neyer, LLC, for approximately 53-acres located at Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland in Sewickley Township.
February, 7– Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for re-election. Commissioner Kopas has a record of results – in job-creation, community development, public safety and human services. He has been fiscally responsible while taking action to make Westmoreland County grow and prosper.
January, 15– The Westmoreland County Hazard Mitigation Plan must be reviewed and revised every five (5) years to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. The Westmoreland County Hazard Mitigation working group has started the revision process for this planning and we want your input.
December 20 – In general, a county comprehensive plan is a land use and growth management plan that is updated every ten years which establishes broad goals and criteria for municipalities to use in preparation of their respective comprehensive plans and land use regulations.
December 12 – Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced the sale of 500 Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette to Sobel’s Obscure Brewery, LLC., for its new local microbrewery location.
December 11 – Laugh away the winter blues at two Comedy Nights hosted by Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation and the Westmoreland Heritage and Five Star Trail chapters!
November 5, 2018 – Take home a piece of the original Mammoth Park Giant Slide!
October 26– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, held a groundbreaking ceremony at a 206-acre site in Sewickley Township.
October 16– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, announced today the closing of Lot 7, totaling 3.3 acres, in Jeannette Industrial Park.
September 5– The grand opening ceremony for the recently completed Cedar Creek Dog Park will take place on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 beginning at 11:30am. The event is open to the public and no RSVP is required. Dogs are also welcome to attend!
July 25– Stadium Casino, LLC (a joint venture of The Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment) and CBL Properties (NYSE:CBL) today announced plans to develop an approximately 100,000 square foot casino and entertainment complex at CBL’s Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA. The 1.2 million square foot retail, dining and entertainment destination is located directly off Route 30, approximately 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.
May 30– Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety is encouraging all residents, visitors, and businesses to sign up for a new mass notification system known as CodeRED that will allow county officials to quickly deliver alert messages regarding emergency situations and or severe weather. All can sign up for the notification system through the county’s website at www.co.westmoreland.pa.us
April 24– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, announced today the acquisition of 206 acres in Sewickley Township from Westinghouse Electric Company.
April 12– The Westmoreland County Housing Authority (WCHA) is pleased to announce that more quality housing is on the horizon for seniors in Westmoreland County.
October 26– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, announced today the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) has committed a $285,000 loan and a $20,000 grant to the WCIDC to support building renovations at The Corner, an entrepreneurial center located in downtown New Kensington.
September 26 – Westmoreland County child welfare officials today
responded to a recent state Auditor General special report that analyzed the children and youth services system in Pennsylvania. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s “State of the Child” sounded the alarm about “wholesale system breakdowns that actually prevent CYS (children and youth services) caseworkers from protecting our children from abuse and neglect.”
September 7 – The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC), Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, today announced their acceptance of a proposal from Colony Holding Companies to develop the Jeannette Route 30 Redevelopment Project.
August 21– Westmoreland County Housing Authority (WCHA) hasbeen selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of ConnectHome Nation, the innovative program to end the digital divide in public housing across the United States.
August 15– The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced that they are the recipients of a $10,000 “Boosting Community Pride” grant from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County. The grant will spearhead Land Bank efforts to acquire and demolish blighted structures in the heart of Sutersville Borough – one of its newest member municipalities.
May 31– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson, held a groundbreaking ceremony today at the 13-acre Jeannette Glass Site, located at 700 Bullitt Ave. in the City of Jeannette.
April 13– The Westmoreland County Commissioners have announced the launch of a new innovative Westmoreland County (www.co.westmoreland.pa.us) website design. The site’s mobile-friendly content features an exciting vibrant design, improved navigation that is not only built for the community, but in part by the Westmoreland County community.
January 26– Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force officials today announced the launch of their Post-naloxone Rescue Intervention Team project.
January 25– Thirty-seven Westmoreland County tourism-related businesses and organizations were awarded a combined total of $382,271 during a presentation today at The Palace Theatre.
December 21– Veterans and dependent family members can obtain assistance with filing VA claims and accessing veterans’ benefits from County Veterans Affairs staff in their new home on the 2nd floor of the County Courthouse.
November 29– On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging announced appointments to the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council, a 35-member body charged with making recommendations on regulations, licensure, financing or any other responsibilities of the departments and agencies that relate to the commonwealth’s long-term services and supports system.
November 2– The Westmoreland County Department of Planning and Development would like to announce the first two community workshops for the county’s comprehensive plan update, Reimagining Our Westmoreland
September 23– The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB) will host a Tourism Grant Chat to review adjusted timeline to the 2017 Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Program. The Question and Answer session will be held at Westmoreland County Community College, October 4, 2016.
September 9– Next spring, athletes from throughout the United States will travel to Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands to compete in the 2017 USA Broomball National Championship Tournament. The 19th annual tournament will be held April, 7-9, 2017, at Delmont’s Center Ice Arena.
August 16– Northmoreland Park hosts the 37th annual Labor United Celebration on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5. Event hours are 11:00am to 7:00pm Sunday, and 10:00am to 6:00pm Monday. There will be lots to do: great music, delicious food, carnival rides, a one-ring circus, games and more! This event has free admission, free parking and free entertainment for all ages!
May 26– The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas, and Charles W. Anderson announced today the approval of a settlement agreement with Zion Bullitt Avenue LP (Zion) concerning the former Jeannette Glass Plant property.
May 4– Drones with cameras and TV screens — along with radio-controlled model helicopters, jets, and giant-scale planes — will be flying at Cedar Creek Park, Rostraver Township, on Thursday, May 12 to celebrate the addition of 28 more acres of land to this popular Westmoreland County park.
March 9– The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners today announced a new administrator for Westmoreland Manor, the county-owned 408-bed nursing home and geriatric hospital. John Austin of Murrysville will begin service in mid-April.
February 10– The Westmoreland Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that seeks to conserve open space in Westmoreland County, and the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation have announced that 28 more acres will be added to Cedar Creek Park in Rostraver Township.
January 20– Westmoreland Community Action announces that they have just been awarded the first $250,000 of an anticipated $435,000 gift from the Allegheny Foundation in support of the Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force.
September 10– The Board of Directors for the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC), in partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank, are announcing the acceptance and approval of Dore & Associates Contracting Inc.’s bid for environmental remediation and demolition of the former Monsour Medical Center. Of the 13 bids received, Michigan- based Dore & Associates submitted the lowest qualified bid in the amount of $1,091,800.
August 31– Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today called for the end of the $514,000 annual contract with Premier Healthcare Resources, Inc. to manage Westmoreland Manor – the county-owned 408-bed nursing home and geriatric hospital. A state Department of Health inspection of the facility revealed a number of deficiencies that have occurred under the company’s watch that had the potential to threaten patient safety also and include financial penalties.
July 20– The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced they have reached an agreement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) that addresses the last remaining lien on the former Monsour Hospital property located in the City of Jeannette. The agreement clears the way for plans to demolish the dilapidated structure, remediate the site and prepare it for reuse.
June 23– The grand opening ceremony for the recently completed facilities at the Twin Lakes Park Expansion will take place on Saturday, July 11, beginning at 1:00 pm. The event is open to the public and no RSVP is required. It will be held at the Twin Lakes Park Expansion area (the West Recreation Area), which is accessible from George’s Station Road near the Peach Plaza Skate and Action Park.
March 6– The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has selected 12 Pennsylvania County Directors of Veterans Affairs Offices to receive $99,840 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF). Additionally, the DMVA has selected Veteran Community Initiative, Inc. to receive a $41,000 grant to be its co-sponsor for the first Veterans Appreciation Day Symposium.
February 11– Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for re-election. Commissioner Kopas has a record of service, responsibility, and results.
February 3- March is nationally recognized as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. Celebrating the accomplishments and passion of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families, Westmoreland County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Westmoreland County Commissioners, families and IDD Human Service agencies across Westmoreland County are collaborating to present a calendar of activities throughout the month of March.
January 2- The Westmoreland Land Trust recently acquired a piece of property in Murrysville that, for the first time, will allow nature enthusiasts to move unrestricted on foot or bike between Duff and Pleasant Valley parks.
December 19- The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Director, along with Leedsworld, Inc. (Leed’s) and Kacin Companies jointly announce the purchase of parcels #53 and #54 totaling approximately 28.11 acres in the Westmoreland Business & Research Park located in Upper Burrell Township, Westmoreland County.
October 24- The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced the purchase of the former Monsour Hospital property located in the City of Jeannette. The 6.7- acre site has been abandoned since 2006 and poses a significant health and safety hazard. The acquisition serves as a catalyst for Westmoreland County’s effort to redevelop the property and ready it for reuse.
October 21 -Celebrating the occasion with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors – Charles W. Anderson, R. Tyler Courtney, and Ted Kopas announce today the opening of Westmoreland Airpark’s Phase II development located in Unity Township, Westmoreland County.
September 26- The Westmoreland Land Trust is hosting a celebration on Friday, October 3, marking the nonprofit organization’s fifth anniversary of acquiring open space for the citizens of Westmoreland County…and officially turning its latest acquisitions, three parcels totaling 74.8 acres, over to Murrysville to expand the municipality’s Duff Park.
September 4- Westmoreland County Controller Jeffrey Balzer announced the development of resources to facilitate the reporting and deterrence of Fraud, Waste and Abuse associated with County operations.
August 26- Northmoreland Park is the place to be for a Labor Day Celebration! The 35th annual Labor United Celebration will take place Labor Day weekend, on Sunday, August 31 and Monday, September 1, from 11:00am to 7:00pm each day. There will be lots to do: great music, delicious food, carnival rides, a one-ring circus, games and more! This event has free admission, free parking and free entertainment for all ages!
July 26- Kids can learn about the great outdoors at the Youth Field Day at Mammoth Park on Saturday, July 26 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Youth Field Day is a free event sponsored by local volunteers, in conjunction with Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
May 28- Fans of Duff Park soon will have much more nature to enjoy, thanks to the efforts of the Westmoreland Land Trust and the generosity of long-time Murrysville residents Theo and Pia van de Venne.
May 28- The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced that ten municipalities have joined the land bank – an initiative targeting abandoned and tax-foreclosed properties that threaten public health and safety, lower property values and strain municipal budgets.
February 6- Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today proposed reforms to the Commissioners’ offices that will save taxpayers more than $350,000 annually by laying off staff members, and ending a high-priced lobbying contract and travel perks.
January 13- The Westmoreland Heritage and Five Star Trails are hosting a Comedy Night on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Delmont Volunteer Fire Department Hall. Tickets are $25 per person and include dinner from Leo & Sons Grille 31. All proceeds benefit the acquisition of the Turtle Creek railroad corridor for addition to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
December 5 – The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors, Charles W. Anderson, R. Tyler Courtney, and Ted Kopas announced today the approval of a PennWorks grant funding application, submitted on behalf of the county through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Water Supply and Wastewater Infrastructure Program, in the amount of $2,215,925.
September 20 – The second phase of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail expansion is now complete! This 3.7 mile extension continues west from Route 819 in Slickville to Delmont, making the Westmoreland Heritage Trail a total of 8.7 miles, connecting Saltsburg to Delmont.
September 5 – The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGCW) announced that it has successfully assisted Lesleh Precision Incorporated (LPI), in obtaining financing through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) for the purchase of a 31,300 square foot building in the Rostraver Air Park, Rostraver Township. LPI began operations in 1999, in Washington County.
May 23 – The Westmoreland County Commissioners announced today the launch of a pilot program helping Westmoreland County homeowners rehabilitate homes with major code problems. The Westmoreland County Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program is a collaborative effort between the county’s Department of Planning and Development and the Westmoreland County Housing Authority Weatherization Program.
May 17 – The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland today unveiled a revamp to its popular website designed to promote business development in the county’s core communities. “Downtown Destinations” showcases marketable properties in the county’s cities and boroughs that are available for business expansions or new enterprise.
April 25 – The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors – Charles W. Anderson, R. Tyler Courtney, and Ted Kopas announce today the approval of a contract with Macson Corporation for infrastructure, construction and other related costs for the development of Phase II at the Westmoreland Airpark located in Unity Township, Westmoreland County.
March 12 – The Westmoreland County Department of Veterans Affairs will open a satellite office in Monessen beginning May 15. It will be open the third Wednesday of every month.
February 23- The first step toward a major revitalization effort in Latrobe is underway as demolition and remediation begin on nine structures located at Depot and Jefferson Streets. The 1.6 acre site is part of the future Westmoreland County Community College Laurel Education Center. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland (RACW) awarded the $93,850 contract for site clearance to A.W. McNabb.
February 7- March is nationally recognized as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. Celebrating the accomplishments and passion of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families, Westmoreland County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Westmoreland County Commissioners, families and IDD Human Service agencies across Westmoreland County are collaborating to present a calendar of activities from February 23, 2013 throughout the month of March.
January 24- The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation’s (WCIDC) Board of Directors today approved a 10-year lease extension with Glassautomatic. The renewed lease included 26,000 square-feet at the Mount Pleasant Glass Centre in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.
January 10- The Westmoreland County Commissioners today unanimously passed a resolution in support of new transportation funding strategies for Pennsylvania and urging the Governor and General Assembly to finalize a plan this legislative session.
December 20- Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today issued the following statement about his opposition to the 2013 county budget, approved by the Republican majority of the Board of Commissioners:
December 18- The Westmoreland Conservation District (WCD) in Greensburg is seeking transitioning military veterans who want to begin a second career in farming.
December 12- The Westmoreland County Department of Veterans Affairs will open a satellite office in New Kensington beginning January 9, 2013, and thereafter on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
October 10- The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation today announced that Wendell H. Stone Company, Inc. has purchased approximately 28 acres in the I-70 Industrial Park, South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.
August 10- Westmoreland Transit now has a new state-of-the-art facility to house and maintain its fleet of vehicles. On August 10, 2012 at 11:00am, the WCTA will host a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for its new Vehicle Storage and Maintenance Facility located in Hempfield Township along Business Route 66.
August 2- The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland is one step closer to completely cleaning up a longtime eyesore in Derry Borough and returning it to productive use. Recent progress in this project is attributed to the efforts of Congressman Mark Critz, who recently secured $200,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant funding to remediate the former Porcelain Park industrial site in Derry Borough, Westmoreland County.
April 10- Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today invited county residents to share their stories about the impacts of proposed state budget cuts to programs that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health diagnoses. Stories will be shared with state legislators who are now considering the state’s next budget that will begin July 1, 2012.
February 9- Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today issued the following statement about his opposition to the 2012 county budget, approved by the Republican majority on the Board of Commissioners:
January 27- The Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the Department of Information Systems, is pleased to announce the creation of an online Parks Pavilion and Facility Rental website.
January 10- Work is now underway to clean up a long-time blight in the heart of Derry Borough. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland today announced work is starting this week at the former Porcelain Park site.
December 12- If you’re in the mood for a quick remodeling job for the holidays, or looking for that last minute tax credit for 2011, Shop Demo Depot may be able to help. Shop Demo Depot can deconstruct your current kitchen or bathroom, remove any salvageable items and get you ready for your remodeling project.
October 24-Westmoreland County Commissioner candidates, Commissioner Ted Kopas and Mayor Gerald Lucia, today called on Republican candidate R. Tyler Courtney to come clean about his record, specifically his involvement in the trademark infringement court case and ultimate bankruptcy of his company, A1 Mortgage Corp.
September 14-Commissioner Ted Kopas and Gerald Lucia, Democratic candidates for Westmoreland County Commissioner, today called upon local nonprofit and civic groups and area educational institutions to host debates during this year’s campaign.
September 12-Nineteen area individuals, companies, and organizations will be honored at the Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation’s Green Luncheon on September 22 for their outstanding support of our county parks and trails.
August 22-Northmoreland Park will host the 32nd annual Labor United Celebration on Sunday and Monday, September 4 and 5. The festival will be held from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM each day, with free entertainment, free admission, and free parking.
July 12-The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners today named Austin Breegle as Administrator of the county’s Behavioral Health and Developmental Services program.
July 3-The Westmoreland County Adult and Juvenile Probation Departments have opened a joint sub-office in New Kensington, PA. The office opened officially after a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 29, 2010, and is located at 1001 Barnes Street (the corner of 10th & Barnes), New Kensington, PA 15068.
June 9-A free Father’s Day fishing derby will be held on Sunday, June 19 at Twin Lakes Park from 8:00am to 1:00pm. The event is sponsored by Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation, the Westmoreland County Sportsmen’s League, and Gander Mountain.
May 24-The 2011 Mammoth Fest is right around the corner! This year’s event will be held on Sunday, June 5 from 11am to 7pm at Mammoth Park. It’s a family oriented festival with a wide variety of food, entertainment and children’s attractions. Once again, the festival will be held along the shore of Mammoth Lake.
April 4-The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners Tom Balya, Ted Kopas and Charles Anderson announced today a retrofit program to the County Courthouse buildings designed to modernize the complex’s energy systems.
March 29-On Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM, WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES®, the International Men’s March to End Sexual Assault, Rape and Gender Violence will kick off at the track at Lynch Field in Greensburg. Men from all walks of life will stride, stroll or saunter one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes and will join their voices with women in speaking out against gender violence in Westmoreland County.
February 15-Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for the 2011 campaign. At an evening kickoff event attended by more than 250 supporters at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Kopas outlined his record in office and plans for the future of county government.
February 9-March is nationally recognized as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. Celebrating the accomplishments and passion of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), Westmoreland County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Westmoreland County Commissioners and IDD Human Service agencies across Westmoreland County are collaborating to present a calendar of county wide activities throughout the month of March.
January 31-Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced that he will not accept a pay raise for 2011 and will instead donate the money to four local charitable organizations.
December 30-Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today issued the following statement regarding passage of the county’s 2011 county budget: “First and foremost, this budget does not increase taxes, cuts millions of dollars in spending, and makes prudent investments in the county’s infrastructure and service programs. These important facts have unfortunately gotten lost in the politics and posturing that have taken over in the past week.
October 28-The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners today renamed the county’s Mental Health and Mental Retardation program. The new name, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, better reflects the quality of services and progress made by individuals and families receiving assistance through the county office.
October 8-Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas today announced the availability of on-line videos that showcase Westmoreland County. The videos, produced at no cost to taxpayers, highlight the county’s neighborhoods, recreation opportunities, business climate and more.
September 23-The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners, in consultation with the County Controller, today unanimously passed a new policy to better manage the county’s fleet of vehicles, protect taxpayers’ investment and ensure compliance with the federal tax code.
May 24-Commissioner Kopas delivered the following speech on May 24, 2010, before the Westmoreland County judges prior to taking office.