Posted: Dec 20, 2012 By: Hunter Moore
HOLBROOK, AZ —Friends, family, supporters and staff members gathered on Thursday, December 20, to witness the Oath of Office Ceremony for the recently elected Board of Supervisors and Constitutional Officers of Navajo County. The Oath of Office was administered by the Honorable Ralph Hatch, Superior Court Judge for Division I, before a capacity audience in the Navajo County Board Chambers. Dignitaries from across the region were also in attendance, including the President of the Navajo Nation, Ben Shelly.
“We are very pleased to have such a diverse and distinguished group of guests with us today,” commented Navajo County Manager James Jayne. “Today is an historic day and this ceremony serves as a milestone for those who are taking this oath.”
Sheriff Kelly “KC” Clark, County Attorney Brad Carlyon, Assessor Cammy Darris, Treasurer Manuel “Manny” Hernandez, Recorder Laurette “Lori” Justman, Superintendent of Schools Linda L. Morrow, Superior Court Judge Robert J. Higgins, Superior Court Judge John Lamb, Superior Court Judge Michala Ruechel, Supervisor Jonathan M. Nez, Supervisor Jesse Thompson and Supervisor David Tenney are all returning to their previously held positions in the County. New to their respective positions are Supervisor Sylvia Allen (District III) and Supervisor Dawnafe Whitesinger (District V).
The recently elected officials face some remarkable challenges as they move into 2013. While Navajo County has been able to keep a steady course during the economic downturn, the decreasing budgets, sweeps and impacts from the State of Arizona, the looming “fiscal cliff” at the federal level and the slow economic recovery has set the stage for a heightened level of awareness for every action and policy decision that is made. While the County continues to operate with a balanced budget, the newly elected leaders will be instrumental in formulating the policies to move the county forward.
“We all recognize that we have entered a new phase in the way government needs to be run,” said Jayne. “As we move into 2013 we will continue to look for the most efficient way to fulfill our role in local government, including forging efficient partnerships. I am confident in our elected officials and their ability to see the big picture. They have a wealth of wisdom, and talent, which will help us to responsibly step into this new season and seize the opportunities that present themselves.”
During his comments, Judge Ralph Hatch made several observations about those taking the oath of office, but he highlighted his remarks by pointing out that the group had a total of 183 years of combined service to Navajo County. “These individuals are capable and devoted to serving Navajo County. We are grateful for their service, and I am confident that they will to do the work of our citizens with distinction and great care.”