RANCHESTER — The town of Ranchester welcomes two new faces to the town council and will retain two other members going into 2019.
Jessica Weaver started serving as a council member in January 2018 to replace Lacie Schwend, who moved to Dayton and had to resign from the position. Weaver was then elected into the position officially in the November 2018 election.
She and her husband own Weaver Insurance Agency and raise three girls, who attend Sheridan County School District 1.
Weaver entered the role with insurance knowledge and previous experience working with town engineer Chris Johnson on flood plain issues and insurance-related items. That experience has proven useful on council.
“I have some insurance knowledge and it’s showing where it’s coming in valuable to the council with new developments,” Weaver said.
She chose to run for council to give back to the community and become more involved with her new community. While the family has lived in Sheridan County for several years and run its business since 2009, the family recently moved to the Tongue River Valley in December 2016. Weaver saw the opening as a positive way to help.
She looks forward to seeing what the joint powers board does with the gas line, too.
Randy Sundquist steps back into a familiar role, serving on Ranchester Town Council when another vacancy required someone to step into an interim position. Late last year, Dennis Dunn vacated his position on council and Sundquist was sworn in to fill the vacancy. Sundquist remained in the position following the election, with no other write-ins earning enough votes for the seat.
“There weren’t any people interested enough to put their name on the ballot, so I knew that the town needed somebody,” Sundquist said. “I came in and said, ‘I’ll do it!’”
Sundquist is semi-retired and works part time for a ranch/farm in town. Before, he worked in the coal industry as a miner for 20 years after serving in the military.
His combined life experiences bring a range of knowledge to the council.
Sundquist did not come in with a specific goal to accomplish.
“We’ve been given a responsibility to handle the moneys that are collected by taxes from residents of this town,” Sundquist said. “Also, (citizens) pay you for services…and we’re responsible for handling how that money is handled.”
Jeffrey Barron was first elected into his position around six years ago and continues to serve as a liaison with the Tongue River Fire District in Ranchester.
When not at council meetings, Barron keeps busy with work at WWC Engineering, raising six children and supporting his wife, who home-schools all six children. He appreciates the size of Ranchester.
“It’s a pleasure to be in a small town,” Barron said. “I grew up in a small town, and it’s a pleasure to be in one.”
Service to the community was the main purpose for running for council.
“I enjoy serving the people and the town that I’m in, and this is another method to do that,” Barron said.
Instead of seeking issues out, Barron said issues, questions and comments come to the council and they handle them when they arise.
“I don’t know that I have anything big that I want to tackle, but I do certainly want to engage in the public,” Barron said. “In areas where people see concerns, (I’m) happy to address those in a logical, meaningful way.”
Nixon begins her third year serving on Ranchester Town Council. She was unable to attend the swearing in of the two new council members.
She also serves on the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board. Nixon was unavailable for comment before press time.