Durango City Council welcomed two new members and appointed a new mayor and a new mayor pro tempore Tuesday, as longtime councilors Sweetie Marbury and Dick White step off the dais.
Kim Baxter, 62, and Barbara Noseworthy, 60, were sworn in as city councilors, replacing Marbury and White. Councilors appointed Melissa Youssef, former mayor pro tempore, to mayor. Councilor Dean Brookie will serve as her mayor pro tempore.
The City Council is now represented by three women and two men.
Youssef addressed the public after her appointment, pledging to do her best to listen and represent the diverse views of Durango residents. She recognized a rift in trust between some residents and the council and committed to bridging that gap. The process of rebuilding trust will take years, she said.
“That process should start now with our leadership team,” Youssef said of the new City Council.
City councilors thanked Marbury and White for their contributions to Durango.
“I want to say thank you both for your eight years of consecutive service,” Youssef said. “Your time, hours of dedication of work for this community, you have been role models for us.”
Councilor Chris Bettin, who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, said in a pre-recorded video that the experience Marbury and White brought to the council with their combined 16 years was invaluable. The community owes them “an enormous debt of gratitude,” Bettin said.
“One of the things you both have in common is you wear your emotions on your sleeves,” Bettin said. “We see how much you care about the community.”
Both Marbury and White chuckled at Bettin’s remark, and both got choked up with emotion during their departing remarks.
“We have an engaged community, terrific staff, highly qualified and highly committed council,” White said, his voice choked with emotion. “They’re going to do a lot.”