Craig’s new mayor and newly elected council members take office |

Craig’s new mayor and newly elected council members take office

Patrick Kelly
Craig's new mayor, Ray Beck, takes oath of office Tuesday night at Craig City Hall. Beck replaces Mayor Terry Carwile.
Patrick Kelly

City Hall was packed Tuesday night as Craig welcomed a new mayor and council members who will now assist in governing the city.

The transfer of governance took place at the Craig City Council meeting where Ray Beck took oath of office and officially began his term as mayor of Craig.

Newly elected council members Derek Duran, John Ponikvar, Joe Bird and Kent Nielson were also sworn in, joining Jerrod Ogden and Tony Bohrer on council.

Bird was reelected, and Nielson — who was appointed to council when Gene Bilodeau left Craig midterm — was officially voted into office at the April 7 elections.

Former Mayor Terry Carwile received a standing ovation from attendees when he thanked city staff and council members after passing the torch to Beck.

He also was presented with a plaque, thanking him for his years of service as both mayor and councilor in the past decade.

“It’s been an extraordinary ten years,“ Carwile said. “I very much appreciate the opportunity and the support that I have received from the community.”

Beck, who has served alongside Carwile in different capacities, expressed his appreciation to his predecessor in the new position.

“We all thank you for time, dedication and service,” he said.

After the oaths, the newly formed city council dove into the agenda.

First, they granted a special events liquor license to VFW Post 4265 for an event to be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 15 and 16 at Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The Popular Bar, 24 W. Victory Way, was approved for a renewal of its tavern liquor license.

Representatives from Advocates Crisis Support Services presented a proclamation declaring April 2015 as sexual assault awareness and prevention month.

“Sexual assault, sexual violence, in all its forms is the most underreported crime around the world,” said Sharon Farquhar, executive director of ACSS.

Sharon said in 2014 her organization responded to a total of 35 reports of sexual violence.

Beck read the proclamation for the record and the council moved to approve it.

Dave Fleming, president of Yampa Valley Bank requested $2,500 to host the 2015 Colorado State High School Rodeo Finals in Craig at the end of May.

Council members agreed that hosting the rodeo is a good opportunity to bring business into the community.

“I think it’s a great economic driver,” Beck said, before he and council moved to approve the funds.

Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe briefed council on the selection of Moffat County to participate in the National Association of Counties Innovation Challenge workshop for coal-reliant communities.

Moe said the focus moving forward is to increase communication and make sure all the different entities involved are working together.

“Anything we do needs to be community driven, community based,” he said.

Council also heard from and took action on the following:

• Diane Johnson, Yampa Valley Electric Association president and general manager, provided an update on the company.

• Proclaimed the week of April 13 as National Linemen Appreciation Week.

• Awarded a bid for a vibratory asphalt compactor to Wagner Equipment for a $38,000 Cat CB24B after trade in of the city’s 2000 CB 224.

• Awarded a bid for 2015 curb and gutter construction and concrete improvements to Osmun Inc for $44,255.

• Established a Planning and Zoning Commission structure for the future that will consist of five members to be appointed by the city council to four year terms, with two alternate members. The commission will meet the third Monday of every month at 6 p.m.

• Heard a legal update on the Dudly Bluffs Bladderpod and Twinpod threatened species in the northern Piceance Basin.

• Heard staff, council and Craig City Police reports.

• Took audience comments.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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