New officials sworn in to county roles

Dec. 31—Buchanan County's new officials have been sworn in Friday and anticipation is building for their new roles.

Among the new officials is Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner Scott Nelson. He expects to start the new year at full speed with budget discussions, Nelson said.

"You (have) to hit the ground running and see what kind of shape the county's in. Luckily and graciously, the county is in good shape," he said. "We're going to be able to do a lot of things, and that's going to be the exciting part."

Michelle Davidson is taking over as prosecuting attorney after serving as assistant prosecuting attorney for the county. Her time in the prosecutor's office will provide valuable experience, Davidson said.

"There's a lot of pressure on my shoulders to really make sure that we address the needs of the community," she said. "I think that it's obvious there are needs out there that need to be addressed. Our police are out there doing as much as they can to get people that are committing crimes arrested. And so now we need to do our job to make sure that those people that are arrested are given the appropriate punishment."

One of the aspects that makes Nelson the most confident is knowing his fellow county officials are personally invested in bettering Buchanan County.

"They could be doing the private sector, but they are led to be public servants, and that's a calling," he said. "I think that group that got sworn in today — and the ones that weren't up for election — they do a good job, their hearts (are) in it, and they want to do what's best for the citizens of the county."

Other officials sworn in Friday included incoming judge Chad Gaddie, as well as county auditor Tara Horn, recorder of deeds Becky Dunlap, circuit clerk Ashley Thrasher and county clerk Mary Baack-Garvey, as well as judges Rebecca Spencer and David Bolander.

Alex Simone can be reached at alex.simone@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter at @NPNOWSimone.