New Clarkdale mayor, council sworn in<br><i>Jerry Wiley selected as town's vice mayor</i>

Staff photo by Angela De Welles

New Clarkdale mayor Doug Von Gausig (left) is sworn in by town attorney Rob Pecharich.

He said he leaves with mixed emotions but would now focus on his role within the Verde Valley Humane Society. Leibforth also reiterated what he has said so many times throughout his time on the council.

"The council belongs to the public," he said.

Outgoing council member Tom Groom was brief with his comments.

"I'm free and good luck to the new council," he said.

Outgoing vice mayor Ellie Bauer outlined the issues important to Clarkdale that she thinks the new council will face. Creating a strong economic base for the town was on the top of her list.

Mayor Michael Bluff thanked his wife and the town's staff as well as the people of Clarkdale.

"It's been a real privilege to serve as your mayor," he said.

Bluff also spoke of the respect he has for new mayor Doug Von Gausig.

"The town is in good hands, I can tell you that," Bluff said.

The town's staff presented Leibforth, Groom, Bauer and Bluff with plaques recognizing their service and scrapbooks full of pictures, news clippings and memories.

Next on the night's agenda was the swearing in of the new mayor and council members. Town attorney Rob Pecharich gave Von Gausig and council members Pat Williams, Frank Sa and Jerry Wiley their oaths.

The only remaining member of the previous council, Rex Williams, next made a motion to appoint Jerry Wiley to the position of vice mayor. It was unanimously approved.

The new council had only a short consent agenda to consider before they discussed the items that they would like to see on future agendas.

Williams said she wants the new council to take on the Yavapai Ranch Land Exchange. Town Manager Gayle Mabery later confirmed that the item would be on the council's June 22 agenda. Clarkdale's former council supported the trade while Von Gausig and Williams have both publicly spoken out against it.

Even though the new council faced a light agenda for their first official meeting, things will get busy soon.

The four new members will attend the newly elected officials training program that is sponsored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns this weekend. They'll also conduct a special work session June 15 as well as their regularly scheduled meeting June 22.

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