Newly elected Yakima County officials discuss changes they want to make in office

Yakima County Sheriff Robert Udell

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - Four new Yakima County officials voted into office are stepping into their new roles this week.

There's a new sheriff in town. Yakima County Sheriff Robert Udell said changes he's planning could make you safer.

He said the sheriff's office is working with a tight budget, but he wants to add more training for deputies on the job.

"Number one is to be absolutely accountable and responsible to everybody in this county when they have a problem, to service their needs," Udell said. "There is a lot of different ways but that is the ultimate test did we do what we should have."

He said in the long run he is hoping they will be able to hire more deputies and get a new facility.

Tracey Slagle is the new Yakima County Clerk taking over for Janelle Riddle.

Under Riddle, there have been at least two fraud investigations of employees mishandling the county's money.

Slagle said she wants to work on building back up the community's trust in the clerk's office.

"Everybody who comes in contact with the clerk's office needs to know that they can come here and get great service and trust," Slagle said. "That's what we are here for, to help the people."

Norm Childress is the newest Yakima County Commissioner for district three.

He said he wants to make it easier to start a business in the county, by simplifying the permit process.

"I heard from developers, contractors and people concerned about permitting issues and just the general process of getting things done in that area," Childress said. "I have some expertise there."

He said he also wants to go through the county's annual operating budget to see if any reductions can be made.

KIMA Action News reached out to the new county coroner Jim Curtice but he was not available for comment.

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