By Cody Law
Utah County’s newly elected officials were sworn into office January 7 in the historic Provo Courthouse in downtown Provo, Utah.
Commissioner Nathan Ivie opened the ceremony with words of welcome to attending guests, residents and media and then asked for a minute of silence for Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners who lost his life over the weekend in the line of duty.
The Oath of office was administered by Judge Lynn Davis for incoming Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge, reelected Commissioner Bill Lee, who is expected to become of the Chair of the Utah County Commission Board this year, Attorney David O. Leavitt, Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers and Sheriff Mike Smith.
Ainge joins Lee and Ivie on the County Commission board for a four-year term. Ainge said, “The people of Utah County deserve to know that their elected officials are working hard on their behalf and that they will carry out their responsibilities with honesty and integrity. That is what I will bring to this office.”
Commissioner Lee stated, “We live in a very blessed area. I am thankful to be able to live here and serve here. I look at this as a public service as a public servant for the people. I will try to be that as we work this year … going forward in trying to do the best we can.”
David Leavitt expressed his sorrow for the loss of Officer Shinners and expressed his hope that the Utah County community will rally around and support his family and each other. “The hallmark of my term as Utah County Attorney will be that we as a community will rally around each other as we need it.” He closed his turn at the podium by saying, “Our work is to understand that every individual that passes through our office deserves to have his or her case handled and examined with the kind of scrutiny and kind of care and fairness that we would hope to receive if it were our own case be looked at, whether it’s a criminal matter or civil matter. That is my pledge as the new Utah County Attorney.”
“I want to do everything in my power to make sure Utah County remains the best place on this continent to raise a family,” said Powers. “There is so much work to do. I know that everyone here is willing to work to maintain that reputation…and that we will keep Utah County the best place to raise a family.”
Sheriff Smith moved into office four months ago due to the resignation of the former Sheriff. “The four months I have been here in the Sheriff’s office have really been a blessing because I have been able to see teamwork at its best. The employees of the Sheriff’s office are an amazing team. As we move forward, we will do our best as a team. As a team, we can make and keep Utah County the safest place to raise a family.”