Gary Anderson

PROVO — Tag, you're it.

In Wednesday's weekly Utah County Commission meeting it was Gary Anderson who was named "it." He is the new chairman of the Utah County Commission, and Larry Ellertson is vice chairman.

The chairman swap happens every year in order for every commissioner to have the opportunity to take the reins of the county's governing body.

The previous year's vice chairman becomes the chairman of the commission at the first meeting of the new year, said Commissioner Steve White, last year's chairman, during the meeting.

Switching chairmen does not change a balance of power within the county commission, Anderson said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News.

"The chair is not the boss," he said.

His job will be to start the meetings, dole out assignments and represent the county as a voting member on other community councils, such as the Council of Governments, Anderson said.

"As far as authority or anything like that, there isn't any difference (between the commissioners)," he said.

Anderson said he's looking forward to his year as chairman and hopes to take the county commission out of obscurity with county residents.

"Most people don't know what a commissioner is," he said.

Anderson said he plans, with the support of the other two commissioners, to implement training and teamwork building between elected officials and department heads. A commissioner golf tournament will also take place this summer, which will help raise money for substance abuse treatment for youths.

Anderson's goal is to "be a little more out there in the open, so people can take cleaner shots at us."

He added: "I don't think county government is well understood or well known."

All three county commissioners have specific county departments they oversee, even though all of them make decisions concerning them. The portfolios for each commissioner remained mostly the same for the coming year, with minimal exceptions.

White oversaw most of the budgeting for the coming year and will work closely with Bryan Thompson, the county clerk/auditor, in the coming year.


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