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Commissioners meet with sheriff-elect

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sheriff-elect Jason Mosher, left, introduces himself to Vernon County Northern Commissioner Neal Gerster, outgoing Southern Commissioner Kennon Shaw, and Presiding Commissioner Bonnie McCord, Wednesday morning in the commission office at the Vernon County Courthouse. Commissioners outlined some of what Mosher can expect after he takes the oath of office in late December.
By Lynn A. Wade

Nevada Daily Mail

As the time of transition for newly-elected county officials approaches, Southern Commissioner-elect Everett Wolfe and Sheriff-elect Jason Mosher have been preparing for the new roles in store for them.

Mosher met with commissioners for about an hour on Wednesday, and commissioners shared information about a variety of administrative tasks with which Mosher will be dealing, not the least of which is the annual budget. County officials work daily during the first two weeks in January to hash out and finalize the budget.

Presiding Commissioner Bonnie McCord said it's a tough process. "I call it initiation by fire, but we get through it." She also assured Mosher that other county officials, like County Clerk Tammi Beach, the commissioners and others would work with him as the process plays out.

McCord has served as a commissioner for 20 years; Northern Commissioner Neal Gerster has served 16; and Beach is in her 10th year as clerk, "so there's a lot of experience you can draw from," McCord said.

McCord said it's important that all of the county offices communicate well, and outgoing Southern Commissioner Kennon Shaw noted he's confident Mosher will do that.

McCord noted that sometimes, the fact that commissioners meet only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays can create difficulties when urgent needs arise, but if the need is truly urgent, a special meeting can be called.

McCord also said it would be helpful if Mosher will come by regularly and give the commission updates on what's going on with the sheriff's office; and there are many administrative duties Mosher also will be dealing with, such as the county's role in a multijurisdictional task force, his role on the Western Missouri 911 Dispatch Center board, jail administration and more.

Mosher said he appreciates a centralized dispatching system, having worked with one in Jasper County. Mosher said communication between the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and the Jasper Police Department was much easier before that county decided to have its own dispatching facility.

Meanwhile, Mosher has been talking with some of the sheriff's office staff, some of whom he said are worried about whether a change in leadership means they'll be changing jobs as well. Mosher said he has no plans to make personnel changes. "One doesn't run an office alone," he said. He plans to send a letter to all of the employees explaining his position.

He also plans to meet with Nevada Police Chief Graham Burnley, and with law enforcement officials from surrounding counties as well.

Mosher said he believes county officials will be able to work together as well.

Wolfe has been getting to know what his role will be and how the system will work as well; and he also greeted Mosher and the other commissioners briefly on Wednesday.

A swearing-in ceremony for county officials is tentatively set for 10 a.m., Dec. 26, at the Vernon County Courthouse.

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