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Elected county officials sworn in

Donna Gray

A standing-room-only crowd of county officials and staff, law enforcement and well-wishers shoehorned into Courtroom B on the fourth floor of the Garfield County Courthouse to hear District Court Judge T. Peter Craven administer the oath of office to 9th Judicial District Attorney Colleen Truden and her staff of deputy district attorneys and investigators. A standing-room-only crowd of county officials and staff, law enforcement and well-wishers shoehorned into Courtroom B on the fourth floor of the Garfield County Courthouse to hear District Court Judge T. Peter Craven administer the oath of office to 9th Judicial District Attorney Colleen Truden and her staff of deputy district attorneys and investigators. After the short ceremony, Truden introduced her entire staff.”I am proud to be working with them, the investigators, attorneys, Victim Witness, legal assistants and office staff. They are a pleasure and a joy to be with,” she said. “I know it will be a great journey … to fight crime in the legal arena.”Truden also reached out to local law enforcement. During the campaign run-up to the November election, Truden said she would mend fences with law enforcement, which she said had a difficult relationship with then-District Attorney Mac Myers and his staff.”I want to forge a wonderful working partnership with you,” she said.Earlier in the day, Craven presided over the swearing-in of Garfield County Commissioners John Martin and Larry McCown.He also handed out some free advice to the county commissioners. “What you get in this office is gray hair,” he quipped. “I had flaming red hair before I got the job here.”Scott Aibner was also sworn in as county surveyor.After a break for red, white and blue cake and punch, in a short organizational meeting, the commissioners reappointed Martin as chairman of the commission.Commissioner Trési Houpt voted against his appointment, saying it’s common among other government boards to rotate the chairmanship. “I would like to see us rotate this position. It’s just a really healthy thing to do,” she said. “I know you both know I was interested in serving as chairman and it’s not something you’d support this year.”She also explained her vote after the motion passed. “It’s not because I don’t think you’d do a good job,” Houpt said to Martin.As something of a consolation prize, Houpt was voted chairwoman pro tem, to fill in for Martin when he is absent. Although Martin asked McCown to fill the post, McCown turned him down, explaining it is a matter of logistics.The chairman pro tem is usually asked to sign documents when the chairman is not available. Since McCown lives in Rifle, he said it’s easier to have someone available in Glenwood Springs where most of the government offices are located.The commissioners also approved county office hours for the year: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for the road and bridge department and the Department of Social Services, which set their own hours.


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