New council sworn in, Powell elected Mayor

Incoming council members Steve Freel and Kenneth Bates take the oath of office from mayor Ray Pacheco on Tuesday, Jan. 8 in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

By BRENDAN LaCHANCE, OIL CITY

Citizens of Casper welcomed a new crew Tuesday evening at City Hall.

The Casper City Council elected Charlie Powell as mayor and Shawn Johnson as vice mayor during their first meeting of the 2019 on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at City Hall.

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After new members were sworn in by outgoing mayor Ray Pacheco, the city council voted to elect Powell and Johnson.

After Powell and Johnson were sworn into office Powell issued his first statement as mayor. He mentioned health care, city revenue, city staff compensation and challenges with the police department as immediate issues facing the Council. After addressing a number of other issues he concluded with warm words regarding Casper’s future.

“I think Casper’s best years are ahead of us,” concluded Powell. “I’m honored to serve as mayor. I’m excited about the quality of the Council we’re working with and I think we can look forward to a great 2019.”

Powell was elected mayor for the second time following his previous term in 2015.

In his final act as outgoing mayor, Pacheco issued the oath of office to Councilmembers Kenneth Bates of Ward II, and Steven Freel of Ward III. They join returning Councilmembers Michael E. Huber and Bob Hopkins of Ward I, Shawn Johnson and Charlie Powell of Ward II, and Chris Walsh of Ward III on the Council. Former Mayor Pacheco will remain on the Council representing Ward III.

Incoming Councilmember Khyrstyn Lutz did not attend the meeting due to a family emergency. Pacheco explained that she would be sworn in at a later date.

Outgoing city council member Kenyne Humphey wears a wig and prop cell phone during a video compilation of her many hair styles over her 12 years on council as Jesse Morgan and Dallas Laird look on during the first session of 2019 on Tuesday, Jan. 8, in Casper. The three council members all said goodbye and handed over their seats to three incoming members. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Casper City Council starts its first session of 2019 with newly seated members on Tuesday, Jan. 8. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Casper Mayor Charlie Powell begins business for the new Casper City Council, at the first regular meeting of 2019. (YouTube, City of Casper)