And they're off

Terms begin for new, returning elected officials

The terms of nearly 50 public officials began shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday when they recited and swore an oath to serve the public faithfully. Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner presided over the ceremony at the county courthouse.

"It is a genuine honor for me to issue the oaths of office," said Gardner, herself a new public official, who began work as county court judge last week.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz, a Republican and winner of the November general election, was sworn into office before he issued oaths to about 40 deputies, including his undersheriff, Charlene Abdella, a former juvenile detective and Drug Awareness Resistance Education officer for the Craig Police Department.

For Jantz, the swearing in ceremony was the culmination of the past year's efforts to win the sheriff's office. He defeated challengers in both the primary and general elections.

Jantz described the experience as "humbling," and said he hopes to "live up to the expectations" of the public.

He also said the transition from the old sheriff's office regime to his new administration has been smooth. There should be no hiccups in county law enforcement, he said.

"I don't think we'll miss a beat," Jantz said. "I think we've done very well in getting things started."

Also sworn in Tuesday was Tom Mathers, a Republican and former county commissioner, who had a much smoother path to office than Jantz. He defeated two GOP challengers in the August primary and won an uncontested race in November.

Mathers took part in his first commissioner meeting Tuesday morning. The new commissioner said he looks forward to continuing work the board has started in recent years and capitalizing on money coming into the county from the energy industry.

"The commissioners have done a great job getting the county back on track economically," Mathers said. "Hopefully in the next four years we can increase oil and gas revenues in the county."

Three other public officials -- county clerk and recorder Elaine Sullivan, county assessor Suzanne Brinks and county coroner Owen Grant -- were also sworn in.

For administrative purposes, county treasurer Robert Razzano was sworn into office last week.

All four are Republicans who won uncontested races for re-election in November.

Gardner said the public "demonstrated their support and confidence" in the officials by voting them into office in November and then congratulated each of the officials.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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