Craig Moffat County welcomed two newly elected commissioners to the board with an official swearing-in ceremony Tuesday morning at the Moffat County Courthouse.
Commissioners Ray Beck and Don Cook assumed the seats held previously by John Kinkaid and Chuck Grobe. They join current Commissioner Frank Moe, who is two years into his four-year term.
Officiated by Judge Sandra Gardner, the ceremony was short and sweet, but full of gravitas for the responsibilities the new commissioners are assuming.
“Judge Gardner does a great job making it really personal and heartfelt,” said Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod. “One of the things she said to them is that when you take that oath of office and become an elected official, it changes your life forever.”
Beck and Cook have already participated in training and several meetings with Moe as part of a transition process.
“They’ve been coming to meetings for months and have immersed themselves in the budget, so we’re all going to be able to hit the ground running,” Moe said.
One of the first things the board did in its meeting Tuesday was to adopt the “Nine Rules of Civility,” which outlines principles such as “listen,” “show respect” and “take responsibility” to guide healthy civil discourse.
“We all have a sense of cooperation and teamwork, and when you have that working with other people, great things can happen,” Moe said.
Moe was elected as the new chairman of the board and Beck was elected vice chairman.
Beck joins the board with nine years of experience as a city councilman and mayor of Craig, and sees balancing the budget as one of the biggest challenges the new board will face.
“I think the biggest elephant in the room is the budget and how that impacts everything we do,” Beck said. “It’s mandated that we have a balanced budget. At the end of the day, we have to make those tough decisions. It’s just part of the job.”
Cook, who has served on The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees for eight years and is a lifelong Moffat County resident and rancher, expressed confidence in the new board.
“We’ve got a really good rapport,” Cook said. “All of us are going to go out and do what’s best for the community.”
Despite the challenges ahead, the board struck an optimistic tone in its first meeting. Moe said they plan to use their foundation of cooperation and teamwork to work with department heads, elected officials and county staff to solve the county’s budget woes.
“This group seems like they’re really coming on as a team, and that will be really positive,” Herod said. “They have a lot of challenges ahead of them, and they seem to be up to it.”
Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.