The economy, taxes, and controlled county spending are a few challenges that the new board of Carbon County commissioners will face in 2012.
During the annual swearing-in ceremony Tuesday morning, held in the Carbon County Courthouse, courtroom one, Republicans Wayne Nothstein and Thomas J. Gerhard were sworn into office for four-year terms. Commissioner Nothstein was accompanied by his wife, who held a Bible; while Commissioner Gerhard was accompanied by his wife and father, who held a Bible, as they took their oaths in front of President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Democratic Commissioner Charles Getz, who won re-election in November but announced last Thursday that he would be retiring on Jan. 2 at the end of the day, did not appear at the ceremony, making his retirement official. This left a vacancy on the board in the morning, which was filled that afternoon when Nanovic appointed William O'Gurek to the seat.
Following the pair's swearing-in, the new majority commissioners addressed the filled courtroom.
"As we start 2012, we will be facing great challenges," Nothstein said, adding that the board and the county offices will need to work together to continue to operate the county smoothly and remain fiscally responsible.
He pointed out that the workloads on offices continue to go up but revenue is down. State and federal cutbacks have also put strains on many of the offices that the commissioners oversee.
Nothstein then addressed his peers, saying, "I look forward to working with all of you."
Gerhard echoed Nothstein's comments.
He noted that Tuesday was a very special day for him and his family because he follows his father, Thomas Gerhard. The pair, he believes, is the first father/son team to both be elected Carbon County commissioners.
"I am grateful to stand here and serve this county," Gerhard said. "I look forward to working with the citizens and Wayne as we work toward a better tomorrow."
He thanked his parents and his wife, Susie, for their love and support.
Gerhard then congratulated everyone who was sworn in.
Following the ceremony, Nanovic congratulated the new majority commissioners.
"Commissioner Nothstein has served as commissioner for three terms now," he said. "He has gained the respect of this county."
"I wish Commissioner Gerhard the best," Nanovic added, noting that he also believes the Gerhards are the first father/son team to serve as county commissioners.
"He has all the indication to make a good commissioner."