Commissioner Steve Bauer was elected the new Chairman of the Rice County Board of Commissioners during their first meeting of 2018 today.

After changing chairs with outgoing Chair Jake Gillen, Bauer then conducted the rest of the meeting and the board elected Galen Malecha it's Vice-Chair.

Before moving Gillen hinted he would not be seeking re-election for his seat saying he was moving to the chair he occupied when he started 14 years ago and, "it looks like I'll stay there til the end now, so."

Gillen's term expires December 31, 2020.

Bauer's current term expires the end of this year.  He has also been in office since 2005.

Malecha's term expires at the end of 2020.

The board then continued with the routine business of the first meeting of the year adopting resolutions naming the official newspaper for the publication of official proceedings in summary form and public notices.

Commissioner also unanimously passed resolutions ordering the publication of the delinquent real estate tax list and designating the Rice County Website the official publication site for transportation projects.

Following the meeting, I asked newly elected Commission Chair Steve Bauer what his goal was for the new year.

He replied, "To try to provide all the services we're required to provide and efficiently, without spending a lot of money.  Try to keep our taxes down for our homeowners and businesses."

Commissioner Bauer admitted the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners doesn't really have a lot of influence on that and said the chair's duties are to, "Run the meetings in an orderly way and efficiently.  Make sure the items are voted on and we try to use Robert's Rules."

2018 Rice County Board Chair Steve Bauer Literally Changing Chairs. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld