While Saratoga now has a new mayor and council member, there still is a vacant seat; all of which occurred the first few minutes Jan. 5.

Creed James and Ben Spaulding were sworn in as the town’s two new councilmen by Mayor Pro Tem Bob Keel.

“Thank you everybody for putting your faith and trust in me to hold the town of Saratoga to the standards that we should all hold to follow,” said Spaulding. “I will do everything in my power to make sure that I follow the rules and regulations of the state and this town. Thank you again, I look forward to working for the people of Saratoga.”

“I will echo everything Ben said,” said James, who spoke next. “I appreciate this opportunity. This Council is going to have a lot of hard work to do going forward.

“We are going to be tasked with a lot of challenges and I am confident in the four we have up here now and a fifth one up here shortly, hopefully,” he said. “I am hopeful and confident that this group will make some progress and hopefully get us, (the town), pointed in the right direction.”

Afterwards, James and Spaulding took their seats and the council then paid the town’s bills without controversy or disagreement — including the transfer of $3,400 from the general fund to the Tyler Pickett Park fund.

In the next piece of town business, Mayor Pro Tem Keel called for nominations to fill the empty mayor’s seat. Councilman Jon Nelson nominated James, who never before held public office. Spaulding seconded the nomination.

“Thank you, Creed, for being willing to step up and take on this position, as I look ahead and think about what the next two years are going to bring,” said Nelson. “As was mentioned before, I am extremely confident and optimistic about the four people that are sitting here right now and that we will have a fifth soon and that the five of us can work together to point the ship in the direction we need to go.”

Nelson then justified his motion that James take on the mantleship of mayor.

“There was a lot of contemplation at least in my mind about whether or not one of these two gentlemen, who were just elected, were ready for that position (mayor),” said Nelson. “I spent a lot of time with both of them and got to know them better over the last year even before the election process. I can’t say enough about both these guys. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in their feasibility to lead us.”

James accepted the nomination. It passed 3-0 with James abstaining. The term is for the remaining two years of John Zeiger’s unexpired term, who resigned unexpectedly in September. Keel served as Mayor Pro Tem in the interim.

As his first act of business as a councilman, Spaulding made a motion to move the meeting time to 6 p.m., where it had been prior to this past September, when it was moved to 7 p.m. to accommodate Keel’s schedule. Spauling’s reasoning, he explained was due to concerns about how late meetings could last, as well as his desire to be home with his two children.

In other business

James briefly touched on appointments but did not make any. While his ability to make appointments is limited as an appointed mayor, he can appoint people to fill vacant positions. Most present is selecting a new town clerk and a town attorney. Former Town Clerk Suzie Cox resigned effective Dec. 31, 2020; Now-former Town Attorney Tom Thompson, also resigned last month. A replacement for Thompson is being sought.

Following an 70 minute executive session, the motion was made to continue to employ Cox on a contract basis of $50 per hour; she has continued to work as the town clerk even though she had no formal agreement with the town for her work in January. Council also met with other members of the town staff during this executive session, but no changes were announced.

Also, council decided to seek letters of interest from interested citizens to fill the empty council seat.

By RICHARD HODGES

Special to the Rawlins Times

While Saratoga now has a new mayor and council member, there still is a vacant seat; all of which occurred the first few minutes Jan. 5.

Creed James and Ben Spaulding were sworn in as the town’s two new councilmen by Mayor Pro Tem Bob Keel.

“Thank you everybody for putting your faith and trust in me to hold the town of Saratoga to the standards that we should all hold to follow,” said Spaulding. “I will do everything in my power to make sure that I follow the rules and regulations of the state and this town. Thank you again, I look forward to working for the people of Saratoga.”

“I will echo everything Ben said,” said James, who spoke next. “I appreciate this opportunity. This Council is going to have a lot of hard work to do going forward.

“We are going to be tasked with a lot of challenges and I am confident in the four we have up here now and a fifth one up here shortly, hopefully,” he said. “I am hopeful and confident that this group will make some progress and hopefully get us, (the town), pointed in the right direction.”

Afterwards, James and Spaulding took their seats and the council then paid the town’s bills without controversy or disagreement — including the transfer of $3,400 from the general fund to the Tyler Pickett Park fund.

In the next piece of town business, Mayor Pro Tem Keel called for nominations to fill the empty mayor’s seat. Councilman Jon Nelson nominated James, who never before held public office. Spaulding seconded the nomination.

“Thank you, Creed, for being willing to step up and take on this position, as I look ahead and think about what the next two years are going to bring,” said Nelson. “As was mentioned before, I am extremely confident and optimistic about the four people that are sitting here right now and that we will have a fifth soon and that the five of us can work together to point the ship in the direction we need to go.”

Nelson then justified his motion that James take on the mantleship of mayor.

“There was a lot of contemplation at least in my mind about whether or not one of these two gentlemen, who were just elected, were ready for that position (mayor),” said Nelson. “I spent a lot of time with both of them and got to know them better over the last year even before the election process. I can’t say enough about both these guys. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in their feasibility to lead us.”

James accepted the nomination. It passed 3-0 with James abstaining. The term is for the remaining two years of John Zeiger’s unexpired term, who resigned unexpectedly in September. Keel served as Mayor Pro Tem in the interim.

As his first act of business as a councilman, Spaulding made a motion to move the meeting time to 6 p.m., where it had been prior to this past September, when it was moved to 7 p.m. to accommodate Keel’s schedule. Spauling’s reasoning, he explained was due to concerns about how late meetings could last, as well as his desire to be home with his two children.

In other business

James briefly touched on appointments but did not make any. While his ability to make appointments is limited as an appointed mayor, he can appoint people to fill vacant positions. Most present is selecting a new town clerk and a town attorney. Former Town Clerk Suzie Cox resigned effective Dec. 31, 2020; Now-former Town Attorney Tom Thompson, also resigned last month. A replacement for Thompson is being sought.

Following an 70 minute executive session, the motion was made to continue to employ Cox on a contract basis of $50 per hour; she has continued to work as the town clerk even though she had no formal agreement with the town for her work in January. Council also met with other members of the town staff during this executive session, but no changes were announced.

Also, council decided to seek letters of interest from interested citizens to fill the empty council seat.

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