Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Charles R. Snyder will retire after the start of the new year, according to a press release sent to The Herald from Superior Court officials Friday morning.
Snyder, who is one of four current Superior Court judges in Whatcom County, was first elected to the bench in 2004. During his tenure, Snyder was instrumental in starting Whatcom’s Teen Court, which is an alternative for juvenile offenders, the release states. Snyder also served on numerous committees, associations and boards that were involved with local schools, the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the hospital and various legal groups.
Before becoming a judge in Superior Court, Snyder served as a court commissioner.
His last day will be Feb. 28, the release states. Snyder was last elected in 2016 after he faced no challengers in the primary, according to Whatcom County election data.
“I’m at a point where I have been extremely fortunate to be able to have the career that I have and be able to do this job and do this position, and I’m grateful for all the people who put me here. You can’t understand how grateful you are until the time comes when you realize it won’t last forever,” Snyder said Friday in an interview with The Herald.
Snyder said the decision to retire was a long time in the making. He said he plans to learn new things, pick up the hobbies and projects he keeps putting off and take time to travel with his wife.
“I’m going to try and figure out what it’s like to not go to work every day for the first time since I was 16, so I’m going to pick things that really sound interesting and start doing them,” Snyder said.
Gov. Jay Inslee will appoint someone to replace Snyder prior to his retirement, according to an email to The Herald from Tara Lee, with Inslee’s communications office.
Judge Snyder’s middle initial was corrected Oct. 12, 2018.