Tony Bohrer, Melody Villard sworn in as District 1 & 2 commissioners Tuesday morning
Six months of waiting is finally over for Tony Bohrer and Melody Villard. The two new commissioners, in Districts 1 & 2 respectively, were sworn in Tuesday morning inside the Board of County Commissioner Chambers in front of family, other local elected officials, and a Zoom audience.
Moffat County Court Judge Brittany Schneider presided over the ceremony, swearing in Villard and Bohrer through an oath of office.
Villard previously defeated Chuck Grobe in the June 30 primary election, netting nearly 1,800 votes to replace former District 2 Commissioner Ray Beck, who’s four-year term ended. Bohrer defeated incumbent District 1 Commissioner Don Cook, who didn’t receive enough delegate votes in March to stay on the primary ballot.
Officially county commissioners for Moffat County, Bohrer and Villard have a busy week ahead, but they’re excited to get to work serving their constituents in Moffat County.
“I’m excited to get started; I know we have a lot of challenges ahead that we’re facing, but I’m excited to work with this board,” Villard said. “I think we’re going to work really well together.”
Bohrer, who is coming off of 8 years on Craig’s city council, is not new to serving as a local elected official. However, making the shift from the city to the county comes with added expectations, he said, which has him both nervous and excited.
“I’m excited for sure, but I’m nervous too; you’d be crazy not to be,” Bohrer said. “I’m stepping into a new role with more responsibilities on my plate, so of course there’s some nerves. Overall though, more than anything, I’m just really excited for the new adventure, and I’m excited about the future of Craig and Moffat County. I feel like we can make our own destiny.”
With capacity limited inside the chamber due to COVID-19 restrictions, knowing that their immediate family was there for the swearing in ceremony was special to both Bohrer and Villard.
“It means the world,” Bohrer said. “I didn’t invite anybody but my immediate family, so it worked out. But it was exciting to see the other elected officials here, like the Sheriff [KC Hume], others in the courthouse, the Mayor [Jarrod Ogden] and the City Manager [Peter Brixius] that I worked alongside for the last eight years. It was very humbling.”
“It was fun to have my family here,” Villard said. “I’m missing one here today – my son is in Wyoming – but it was great to have them here supporting me.”
Now that they’re officially county commissioners, the hard work begins for the pair. Plenty of issues currently face the community such as COVID, the transition away from coal, Department of Human Services issues, and more, but the two commissioners are ready to get started and make an impact.
“I think we need to start to work together on ideas for what we’re gonna do for our future,” Villard said. “There’s been some planning for fairly short-term stuff, but I think now is the time to start long-term planning, not necessarily doom and gloom, but looking at what we can bring to the table; what can we go out and search for and make work here?
“We need to transition from working on the back end of ’oh my gosh it’s happening to us,’ to the front end of it and ’what can we make happen?’”
“There’s so many things that we can tackle,” Bohrer said. “Sometimes it’s nice to grab the low-hanging fruit, honestly. I don’t have anything specific right away that I’m looking to dive into; I want to get my feet wet, so to speak, and get through this week so that we can eventually divide and conquer.”
Moving forward this week, Bohrer and Villard will receive Human Resources training, and then will participate in Colorado Counties Incorporated training over Zoom.
The first official commissioners’ meeting for the two new commissioners will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
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The price tag for Xcel Energy closing all its Colorado coal-fired plants will be $1.4 billion spread over decades — a sum that will be paid exclusively by the utility’s residential and commercial customers.