Newly elected Craig City Council members, from left, Byron Willems, Jennifer Riley, Gene Bilodeau and Terry Carwile are sworn in Tuesday by Craig Municipal Court Judge Kevin Peck.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Newly elected Craig City Council members, from left, Byron Willems, Jennifer Riley, Gene Bilodeau and Terry Carwile are sworn in Tuesday by Craig Municipal Court Judge Kevin Peck.

4 councilors, mayor take oath of office

— Craig Mayor Don Jones began his 14th consecutive year in city government at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

He was first elected as a councilor in 1995, served 2 1/2 terms there because of a technicality that arose after the city changed its election cycle and now begins his third consecutive term as mayor.

It's a good feeling, Jones said.

"It makes me feel proud," he said. "It makes me think at least I'm doing a good job."

Jones has never felt overwhelmed or stressed by his responsibilities with the city, mostly because he's always enjoyed what he does, even working through the tough problems.

"I guess I don't feel any pressure," he said. "I wanted to do it. I want to do it. I want the challenge."

Two other councilors were elected to their second terms.

Byron Willems - who received the fewest votes of the four winners and will serve a two-year stint to complete former Councilor Rod Compton's vacated term - said he's proud the citizens chose to bring his voice back to City Hall.

City government is where a person can make an immediate impact, and he said he welcomes the opportunity.

"This is one of the most basic levels of government," Willems said. "You can see progress here."

Councilor Terry Carwile, who will serve a full four-year term, has run in four recent elections, winning his last two for a council seat. He lost two others, one for the state Legislature in 2002 and one for the Moffat County Commission in 2005.

"I'm up to batting .500 right now," he said with a smile, adding that he hopes to bring his experience living through the 1970s to 1980s boom and bust period to the economic challenges that face Craig today.

"I can see the mines in the minefield, maybe."

Councilor Gene Bilodeau was elected to his first term, after being appointed to the council in 2008 to fill Compton's vacated seat. Almost 500 of the 640 voters who participated in the election cast a vote for him.

He said it's reassuring to know the public welcomes his viewpoint on the council.

"It reinforces that me being on the council is a good place for me to be," Bilodeau said, adding that he doesn't plan to change who he is because he now has a guaranteed four years with the city.

However, first-time Councilor Jennifer Riley received the most votes of any of the candidates on the April 7 city election ballot.

Tuesday was her first experience as an elected official. She said she has had one resident approach her as a councilor so far.

A man asked what she would do to bring a recreation center to town. Riley said she told him he would have to find a different solution to the area's recreation needs, because voters have turned that down.

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