Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Jeffrey Wilson administered the oath of office Tuesday to the six La Plata County elected officials that won reelection in November.
Commissioner Clyde Church, Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Lee, Treasurer Allison Aichele, Assessor Carrie Woodson, Sheriff Sean Smith and Coroner Jann Smith were all re-sworn.
All six officials were sworn in for four-year terms.
In La Plata County commissioners’ first business meeting of the year, Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton was elected board chairwoman, taking over from Commissioner Matt Salka. Salka was elected vice chairman of the board.
The position of chair is typically held by a different commissioner each year. Porter-Norton also held the position the year before Salka.
When asked why she was elected to handle the gavel again, rather than passing it to Church, Porter-Norton said “I think we just decided that was a good way to go.”
The board chair is the primary point of contact for the commission and is responsible for reviewing agendas in advance of board meetings and running meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order.
“We all have our different experiences and different items of interest for the county, but what we all have in common is our dedication to our job as well as what’s best for La Plata County,” Salka said in Tuesday’s meeting. “I appreciate my time as chair and working with you both and county staff.”
Porter-Norton said she looks forward to tackling the lengthy list of capital projects that the county has slated for completion this year.
“In this competitive labor market, we aim to be the regional employer of choice,” she said in an email to The Durango Herald. “I believe each of the Commissioners has high expectations for accomplishing a long list of things to provide excellent services that residents rely on.”
The commissioners also approved a resolution finalizing their liaison and board assignments for the year, which remain largely unchanged from last year.
Porter-Norton will serve on the CSU Extension Advisory Committee and the Wildfire and Watershed Protection Fund; act as liaison to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office and the Surveyor’s Office; and sit on the boards of San Juan Basin Public Health, the Regional Housing Alliance, Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs and SouthWEST Opioid Regional Council. She will unofficially sit on the Animas River Community Forum Steering Committee out of personal interest.
Salka will serve on the Lodging Tax Panel for the county; act as liaison to the sheriff, coroner and district attorney; and sit on the boards of the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance, Housing Solutions for the Southwest, the Durango Area Tourism Office, the Durango-La Plata County Airport Commission, Southwest Colorado Council of Governments and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Midstream Steering Committee.
Church will serve on the Undesirable Plant and Rodent Advisory Commission, Durango Public Library Board and will unofficially sit on the Living with Wildlife Advisory Board; act as liaison to the offices of the treasurer and assessor; and sit on the Fair Board, San Juan Basin Area Agency On Aging, Southwest (Region 9) Workforce Development Board, Region 9 Economic Development District, the Rural Consortium Workforce Board and Southwest Regional Transportation Board.
Additionally, the commissioners have an assortment of assignments on committees and boards at Colorado Counties Inc. and Counties and Commissioners Acting together. The two organizations facilitate inter-county efforts to affect change in the state.
Additionally, Salka will represent the county on the telecommunications board of the National Association of Counties pending approval.