In other news
At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:
• Approved, 7-0, meeting minutes from March 22.
• Approved, 7-0, bills from March totaling $270,983.22.
• Heard a year-end report from Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta.
• Discussed a proposal from Randy Sloan for a grazing lease on city property near the Yampa Valley Golf Course. General consensus was reached to not approve the proposal.
• Approved, 7-0, a non-simultaneous exchange of real property between the city of Craig and the State Board of Land Commissioners on 39.91 acres of land used by the wastewater department.
• Appointed council member Jennifer Riley as mayor pro-tem.
Joe Bird, a newly elected Craig City Council member, said he had a distinct feeling as municipal court judge Kevin Peck swore him into office for the first time Tuesday.
It was a feeling of gravity and awareness of what was expected of him as a public servant, he said.
“There was a real keen awareness of what I was getting into when I listened to the words that were being administered,” he said.
Bird was one of four city council members to be sworn into their posts during Tuesday’s city council meeting, but he was the only new face on council. Former Mayor Don Jones was sworn on to council, and Byron Willems and Ray Beck were sworn into two-year and four-year terms, respectively.
Former council member Terry Carwile was sworn in as Craig’s new mayor.
Bird said after the meeting he has a feeling serving on council is “going to be an experience.”
“It feels good to be a part of the conversation because my attitude is to give back to Craig because they have been good to me and my family since we have moved here,” he said. “That was something that was instilled in me and I want to give back — it’s a part of me.
“I think in this position, I’ll be able to help more and get some things accomplished with a good council and mayor.”
Most of all, Bird said he was ready to start “digging into” city government.
“I’ll see if we can get some new ideas, but work along with the people who have some experience,” he said.
Carwile said Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony was different than those he had participated in previously.
“There was a little bit more of an intensity to it I guess you could say,” he said. “It seemed like I was concentrating on judge Peck with every last syllable. I didn’t want to get any of it wrong and I didn’t want to stumble over anything.”
Before the ceremony, Jones passed on an item to Carwile given to him by former mayor Dave DeRose when he took over as mayor — a book on how to play guitar.
Jones explained the only difference between he and DeRose was that DeRose could play the guitar.
“It’s a good gift to give,” he joked. “They might be talking about it 50 years from now — that book might still be going around.”
However, Jones said it was tough to surrender the reins to Carwile.
“Especially tonight — you want to jump right in and you have to wait until you’re asked, you don’t get to just blurt out,” he said. “That’s fine, Terry will do a great job.”
Sitting just a few seats to the side of where he used to sit as mayor won’t change his attitude about serving the city, Jones said.
“I’m going to give it 110 percent just like I have for the last (many years),” he said. “No difference.”
Jones also nominated council member Jennifer Riley to serve as mayor pro-tem. The council appointed Riley after a vote between her and Beck.
“I think it’s a nice honor,” she said of the surprise appointment. “I was nominated by the former mayor and that’s nice. I think it indicates he has confidence that I would be able to run the meetings in the absence of the mayor.”
Beck said he was very nervous the first time he was sworn onto the council. But this time, it was feeling of anticipation, he said.
“I’m humbled and appreciative that the citizens have enough trust in me to represent them not only at the local level, but as opportunities come up at the state and federal levels, which I often do,” he said.
Willems said he was excited to continue serving on council.
“I enjoy doing it,” he said. “If I got a two-year term or a four-year term, it’s all good.”
However, there was one thing in particular he is looking forward to watching in the future.
“It’ll be interesting to see how Don handles not being the boss,” he said with a laugh.
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