Eleven take oath of office in Box Elder County

Jan 3 2011 - 11:42pm

BRIGHAM CITY -- Box Elder County is starting off the new year with a nearly complete turnover in county government.

Eleven elected officials took an oath of office Monday, pledging their commitment to the people they serve; only three are incumbents returning for another term in office.

"Today is the day to begin a new challenge, and how we respond to that challenge sets the tone for our county," said County Commissioner Brian Schaffer.

LuAnn Adams, former county recorder/clerk, and Ryan Tingey, former Willard mayor, are each beginning new duties as county commissioners.

Adams said there have been many county commissioners before her whom she has looked up to and admired. And while she says the influence of those who have served before her will be apparent, she still plans to serve with a style of her own.

Tingey, who was one year into a four-year term as mayor of Willard, resigned from that position last month and was replaced by Ken Braegger, who has been with the city council for five years.

Tingey said he spoke with each council member individually and offered each of them the opportunity to fill his position.

However, there was a consensus that Braegger should act as mayor this year.

Braegger will be required to run in this year's election for the opportunity to complete the final two years of Tingey's term.

Adams and Tingey will join Schaffer and, together, they plan to begin fulfilling campaign promises immediately.

One item on today's commission agenda is a change in meeting schedules that Tingey hopes will allow more public participation.

The position held by Adams for the last 16 years has now been split into two offices: Marla Young will serve as county clerk, while Chad Montgomery will now head the recorder's office.

Another office split into two positions is that of assessor/treasurer, formerly held by Monte Munns, who has retired. Rod Bennett will now be the county assessor, while Shaun Thornley is now the county treasurer. Tom Kotter will serve as county auditor.

County Attorney Stephen Hadfield and Sheriff Lynn Yeates ran unopposed in last year's election and are returning for a second term in office.

The oath of office was administered by Judge Kevin Christensen, who recited a quote from Abraham Lincoln in which Lincoln recognized his role in public service.

"My advice to you is to recognize that you are now 'public property,'" Christensen said.

Christensen also is beginning a new term in office. He took his oath of office last month.

According to the Utah Association of Counties, there are now exactly 300 elected county positions in the state of Utah.

There were eight offices held in Box Elder County until the last election, when the state Legislature split the offices of recorder/clerk and assessor/treasurer. That mandate created two more elective offices for the county.

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