Qualifications: I’m the best candidate because I was appointed to City Council 8 months ago due to my unique combination of budget and management experience. I’m a Deputy Administrator with the Department of Workforce Services, a state agency with a $160 million annual budget and over 500 employees throughout Wyoming. Working in this setting each day and helping to make difficult fiduciary decisions has helped prepare me to address our current budget situation in an effective manner.
Additionally, I founded the Dads Making a Difference Program which over the last 9 years, has served 167 local participants and graduated 142 of them. That's an 85% graduation rate for parenting adults living in poverty, with significant barriers to employment.
I grew up in Cheyenne. I’m a product of our school district. This has been my home for a long time and as such, I have a deep passion for our community and our citizens.I want to do everything I can to keep our City moving forward and help play a part in creating a future in our city that presents good opportunities for our children and our children’s children.
I run for this office because these are difficult times and I have strong feelings about what must be done. I feel obliged to do all I can to contribute and give back to our community.In all that I do I will strive to advance Ward 1 and the City of Cheyenne to the best of my ability.
Top three issues:
1. Fiscal Uncertainty - In the wake of Wyoming’s economic downturn, we need to emphasize fiscal responsibility. We also should consider alternate sources of revenue and explore the possibility of creating as many districts as possible. We should pursue anything that can help us obtain tax credits, grants, and outside the box funding. We need to encourage Enterprise Zones, Conservation Districts, Museum Districts, Restaurant Districts, Historic Districts, and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) zones so that we reduce our reliance on state shared revenue.
2. Better quality roads – As we all know, potholes are plaguing many of the roads around our City. The main reason for the poor condition of our road infrastructure is alkali-silica reactivity (ASR). The City revised the concrete specifications in the late 1990's to address this issue. Unfortunately, the City paved A LOT of streets with concrete in the 1990's before figuring out that many of the aggregate sources in the area are susceptible to ASR. As such, much of the 1990's era concrete is failing prematurely.
The latest figures from our pavement management system show that we need about $8 million per year to simply maintain our street system in their current condition. Unfortunately, we have only allocated $4 million per year to spend. Until this funding imbalance is addressed, we will continue to lose ground.
In my opinion, the single best thing that the City could do is to address the funding deficit for our streets through an additional revenue stream such as a 7th penny tax. We should also work in partnership with WYDOT and subject-matter experts from the University of Wyoming, College of Engineering to develop a long-term plan to address the problem of ASR so we don’t repeat mistakes of the past.
Another improvement would be to employ a materials engineer. This person would be a technical resource for all of our staff and could oversee the implementation of a quality assurance program for the City. This person would serve as the City’s liaison to WYDOT and UW and also be responsible for keeping our specifications up to date and proposing changes as new issues or technologies come to light.
3. Completion of the Landfill – We spend $100,000 per month shipping our garbage out of state to Ault, CO. A total of $1.2 million a year. We just received a variance from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) which now puts us on the path to obtaining a permit. The permit then allows us to pursue revenue bonds to help pay for the Landfill project. Once complete, we can use the money we save from shipping our trash out of state to pay off any remaining debt while also providing much needed additional revenue to our coffers.