Craig resident Karen Gibson said she’s impressed this year by the number of quality candidates running for public office in Moffat County.
“I wish that they could just team up and they could work together in those positions,” Gibson said. “It’s too bad it can’t work that way.”
She said Wednesday’s candidate forum hosted by the Aging Well Program would help shape her decision at the polls in August and November.
Gibson was one of about 60 residents who attended the forum moderated by John Ponikvar, Moffat County Republican Central Committee chairman.
The forum lasted about an hour, and featured Moffat County candidates for clerk and recorder, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, and surveyor.
Candidates were given an opportunity to introduce themselves and speak about their background and campaign platform.
Treasurer candidates Mike Brinks and Elaine Sullivan addressed the crowd.
Brinks spoke of his background as a certified public accountant, and chief financial officer for the Moffat County School District.
“I’m familiar with the county operations,” he said. “I’ve got a background in private business and in governmental accounting.”
Sullivan, currently the county clerk and recorder, outlined her “record of leadership,” experience and described herself as a “dedicated employee.”
“You will elect me because you trust me,” she said. “You will elect me because you know my record. I answer to you. I will continue to protect the monies of Moffat County and disperse them as required by law or directed by the county commissioners.”
Ponikvar asked Brinks and Sullivan what skills they think a treasurer should possess.
Brinks said the treasurer should have education and experience in handling and investing money.
“You have to have skills dealing with people and the tax payers of the county, and also the other taxing entities and elected officials in the county,” he said.
Sullivan said she has a “great relationship with the other elected officials,” and cited her work in the clerk and recorder’s office.
“I have taken care of the money in the clerk’s office,” she said. ‘We bring in a lot of revenue there, so I don’t think you should have any concerns there.”
The candidates for assessor, Carol Scott and Robert Razzano, also addressed the crowd and answered questions.
Razzano said his experience and work ethic as county treasurer would serve him well in the assessor’s seat.
“I’m at the job every day,” he said. “I’m hardly ever off. I work 11-hour days and whatever it takes to get the job done.
“People have come by my office over the last eight years and I feel like I’ve provided a pretty good level of customer service in my office.”
Scott, currently the deputy assessor, said she wanted to take on the challenge of being assessor.
“With each re-appraisal, I think I have learned to do my job better and I have certainly come to realize that what I do, I’m accountable to you folks for,” she said. “That is part of the deal, and I am comfortable with that. I have worked really hard for the last 13 years in the office to become better at my job.”
A resident attending the forum asked Scott and Razzano what changes they would make in office, if elected.
Razzano said he would take the level of service he offered in the treasurer’s office to the assessor’s office.
“I think it is hard to make changes before we see how stuff is run,” he said. “At the current time, I’m not going to say that I’m going to change this or that before I know what is going on.”
Scott said the duties and responsibilities performed by the assessor’s office do not change, but “continuing a level of professionalism and service to the citizens is important.”
Scott said she wanted to continue to evaluate the county fairly.
“We all need to feel like we are on a level playing ground,” she said.
Sheriff Tim Jantz, who is running for re-election, talked to the crowd about his budget, methamphetamine use in the area, and the inmate trustee program.
He also talked about taking community concerns and weaving them into law enforcement.
“I want to continue that we are professional law enforcement officers, but that we have an air of compassion,” he said. “That you feel comfortable not only talking to me, but any member of my agency.”
Clerk and recorder candidate Lila Herod introduced herself to the crowd, talked about her experience as the county’s chief deputy clerk, and how the Hatch Act affected her candidacy.
“I’ve spent the last 20 years in the clerk’s office preparing for this next step in my career,” she said. “So, I am really excited and proud to run for office.
“I’m going to work really hard to serve you. I have a heart and a good work ethic, and I am proud to say that.”
Surveyor candidate Peter Epp also spoke to the crowd.
“I’ve been doing it a long time and I enjoy it,” he said. “I will try my best to fill the position of Moffat County land surveyor.”