|Judge David Mackey swears in County Supervisors Jack Smith, Chip Davis, Rowle Simmons, Craig Brown and Tom Thurman Tuesday morning at in Prescott.|
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw
PRESCOTT - The five members of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors were sworn-in Tuesday along with five other elected county officials, and it was an historic event for a county that's had just three supervisor seats since Arizona was admitted to the Union.
Three freshman supervisors, Craig Brown, Rowle Simmons, and Jack Smith join upperclassmen Chip Davis, first elected to the board in 1996 and current Chairman Tom Thurman, who won his first seat in 2005. All are Republicans.
The redistricting process changed the complexion of the board. Davis, who was unopposed in the election this year, was known as the supervisor representing the Verde Valley when there were three board members; now, part of Thurman's District 2 also covers the Verde.
It's made for some adjustments in office space as well.
"We have the five offices set up" in the County Administrative Services Building on Fair Street, said Thurman. "They should be done by the end of the week." Davis has always had an office in Cottonwood, and now Thurman and Smith will also have offices on the eastern edge of Prescott Valley.
"We have the old Fain building across from the Prescott Country Club, and we're going to do some remodeling inside that. That way, we don't have to rent anything," Thurman said.
He is upbeat about the transition. "We've been planning for a long time. January will be the real test month, on getting them acclimated to what they're doing," he said.
All five took the oath of office, administered by Presiding Superior Court Judge David L. Mackey, simultaneously.
Afterwards, Smith, a political newcomer, said, "I'm still a little shaky. First time ever. First time seeing my name on a ballot.
"I've got chills right now, just thinking about the things we can do for Yavapai County," Smith said.
Simmons, a former Prescott mayor, said he thinks "it'll be exciting. I don't think it'll be much different than city council was. I'm looking forward to it."
"We all come from a little bit different backgrounds," Brown said. "We've all talked a little in advance and said we want to work as a team."
County Attorney Jack Fields noted that, although they've been sworn-in, they are not officially members until January, when their terms begin, so if the need for a meeting arises before then, Supervisor Carol Springer, who is retiring, would still be the third member of the board.
Also taking oaths of office were elected officials: Sheriff Scott Mascher, Recorder Leslie Hoffman, Judge Kenton Jones, Clerk of Court Sandra Markham, and Assessor Pam Pearsall.
Pearsall was particularly proud of the fact that she alone was the only one to be administered two oaths. The second dealt with assessing all the county's taxable property impartially, "at its full cash value."
"I'm special," Pearsall joked, noting that she keeps a copy of the oath on her desk.