Alexa Criswell, left, Kaci Meek and Tori Pingley send ballots through counting machines at the Moffat County Courthouse for Tuesday's City Council and mayoral elections.

Photo by Mary Austin

Alexa Criswell, left, Kaci Meek and Tori Pingley send ballots through counting machines at the Moffat County Courthouse for Tuesday's City Council and mayoral elections.

Craig City Council newcomers lay out plans as oaths approach

— Tuesday marks the beginning of the new Craig City Council cycle, and the two newest members have one word on their minds: vision.

“We need to know where Craig’s going and what our vision for Craig is for the future,” said Tony Bohrer, 30, who will begin serving his first four-year term Tuesday. “Every person and every business has room to be better and I don’t think becoming better necessarily means bigger.”

Throughout his campaign, Bohrer stressed the importance of fostering an atmosphere that better inspires community involvement through communication and education.

That atmosphere begins at the top, he said, and in the wake of the recently completed downtown revitalization assessment, Bohrer thinks the council has received the perfect opportunity to rally the entire community behind a common goal.

“I’d like to know from the mayor (Terry Carwile) and the rest of council where they think we’re going,” Bohrer said. “I’d like to know where the community wants to go and how we can get there together.”

Jarrod Ogden, 37, rounds out the freshman duo on council. Like Bohrer, he has his eye on Craig’s future.

Top on Ogden’s short-term agenda is maintaining the “positive trend” between the city of Craig and Moffat County, but he also already is preparing for an issue a bit farther off on the horizon.

“Amendment 64 is going to hit us in the face here this fall and we’re going to need to take that to the people,” Ogden said. “We need to know what their vision for Craig is on that particular issue. We need to know what they want and we need to do what’s best for the community.”

Before Ogden and Bohrer jump into the issues, City Clerk and Personnel Director Shirley Seely said a few housekeeping items need to be addressed.

The first step is taking the oath of office, which will take place at the beginning of City Council’s next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The oath will be administered by Kevin Peck, the city’s municipal court judge.

Outgoing City Council members Jennifer Riley and Byron Willems will be recognized for their service before the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting.

Though they’re both disappointed their time in office has come to an end, Willems and Riley had high praise for the new council members.

“I don’t know Tony that well, but he and Jarrod said throughout their campaigns how much they’ve wanted to get involved with the community,” Riley said. “I think Gene (Bilodeau) has done an amazing job in his capacity since he was first appointed and later elected, and those are the kind of people you want to have on council.”

After 10 years as a City Council member, Willems said Thursday that he struggled with the decision to run again.

Though he doesn’t think it helped his bid on Election Day, Willems, who also serves as president of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board, said the previous year’s focus on Craig Fire/Rescue’s training tower project did not contribute to his hesitation to run for council.

“I think it (the training tower) probably did hurt, but we’re put in those positions to do what we believe is right,” Willems said. City Council “was a rewarding experience for me and it wouldn’t be fair to say I’m not disappointed because whenever you decide to run for something, you want to win, but council is going to be solid.

“This is a good group of people.”

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com

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