Natalia D. Macker will keep her title as chairwoman of the County Commission, with Commissioner Luther Propst taking over as vice-chair.

“I am grateful and honored that the board demonstrated confidence in my leadership,” Macker told the News&Guide on Monday. “I think that we have established some ways of working together as a group that are productive, and so I look forward to continuing those.”

Macker’s colleagues on the Teton County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday during the board’s first meeting of 2021 to have her keep her seat as chairwoman.

Propst will take over for Commissioner Greg Epstein, the previous vice-chairman.

“I’m honored and grateful to the other commissioners for selecting me,” Propst told the News&Guide. “I look forward to adding that to the responsibilities of the commission.”

Macker has served on the County Commission since 2015, when she was appointed to fill outgoing Commissioner Melissa Turley’s seat. She won reelection in 2016 and 2020, sailing into first place, and has served as the board’s chairwoman since January 2019.

Propst was elected in 2018. This will be his first stint as vice-chair.

Votes from the chair and vice-chair carry the same weight as those of other commissioners. But both positions come with additional responsibilities. The chair often acts as the commission’s spokesperson, facilitates its meetings and acts as a liaison between the county and other entities. The chair and vice-chair collaborate to set meeting agendas.

Macker’s reelection was unanimous.

Propst’s elevation to vice chair came with some discussion.

Initially, Commissioner Mark Barron motioned to have Macker keep her seat and then made a motion for Epstein to do the same. Commissioner Mark Newcomb then asked whether it would be better to rotate the second in command.

“I do think that there is something to having some fresh perspectives,” Newcomb said, praising Epstein’s service as he did so. “I would like to see a rotation.”

Vice-chairs often become chairs of the county commission, but Epstein said he was not interested in the commission’s highest leadership position.

“It’s not something that I can do or want to do,” Epstein said Monday.

Barron withdrew his motion, and the commission voted unanimously to dub Propst vice-chair.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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