New year with new commissioner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 31, 2002

With their hands on the Bible and their wives at their sides, new Lawrence County Commissioner Doug Malone and new State Representative Todd Book were sworn in yesterday in a ceremony at the Lawrence County Courthouse. Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Frank McCown administered the oaths of office.

Both men listed government finances as their biggest concern as they take office.

"It's going to be a challenge," Malone said. "But a great challenge."

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Malone said not having a large carryover from the old year into the new one will require county officeholders to watch spending closely.

"There's no real quick fix," Malone said. "The big thing is we've got to get our economy going. I think it will pick up, but we've got to watch what we do in the next couple of months."

That was the same sentiment expressed by Book just after he took the oath of office.

He said he is well aware that the state may face a $4-$6 billion budget next year.

"There's a lot I don't know," Book said. "It's definitely forbidding. We may have to look at cuts, and spend money wisely."

Book said he chose to take his oath in Ironton to show that he will serve all constituents in his district, which covers parts of Scioto, Lawrence and Adams counties. He will also be sworn in in a ceremony in Columbus with other new state lawmakers.

Just before he was sworn in, Malone's father, Frank Malone, offered a prayer.

"Watch over him, Lord," Frank Malone prayed. "Let him be a worker for all the people, not just some of the people."

Four generations -- some 20 members -- of the Malone family came to watch as Doug Malone was sworn in. Seated near his wife, Bonnie, and father, Frank, were his mother, Jean, and daughter, Audrey. His son, Matthew, daughter-in-law, Tonya, and grandchildren, Mattie and Hailey, were also in attendance.

Book's wife, Emily, and his children, Cassidy and Avery, were also on hand for the swearing-in ceremony.