Nine Laramie councilors serve non-partisan four-year terms with no term limits, terms are staggered; not all are elected at the same time. There are three wards of three councilors each; only those living within a ward vote for their ward candidate(s). Salary is $120 for attending a meeting or a hearing held on a separate day. No benefits are provided. In 2014, there is one vacancy each in Wards 1 and 2. In Ward 1 the winner will join Vicki Henry and Paul Weaver; in Ward 2 the winner will join Joe Shumway and Jayne Pearce, whose terms are not up. In Ward 3 there are two vacancies; the winners will join Joe Vitale. The top two winners from each ward primary advance to the General Election ballot.
- What are your qualifications for the office you seek? (75 words)
Andrea “Andi” Summerville (Ward 1): I have lived and worked in this community for 15 years as an investigator and former special agent for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and currently am pursuing a master’s degree in government. I have served on the council since February 2014 and am a staunch advocate for Laramie and ward one residents. I welcome the hard work required to ensure that resident’s concerns are addressed.
Oscar Lilley (Ward 2): I have lived in Laramie for nearly 30 years.My grandparents Frank and Shirley Lilley served as Albany County commissioners.My mother served on the ACSD #1 school board.I have found ways to serve our city since I was on the Laramie Youth Council 15 years ago.I have worked in an office and cleaned toilets and I will strive to find the best balance in our government workforce to best serve Laramie.
Dave Paulekas (Ward 2): I have lived in Laramie for over 40 years. During my career I ran a successful construction business building custom homes. I have always been involved on city boards serving on the planning commission for over 12 years. I am presently on the city Council serving as Mayor. My business background, experience on boards, commissions and Council provide me with the insight and knowledge to be an effective counselor.
Bern Haggerty (Ward 3): I am a Head Start graduate and an Eagle Scout; I have received a quality public education; and, I have lived in each of the City’s three wards. My ideas are my primary qualifications. In the 1998 election I campaigned for ward-based representation and a bias crime ordinance. Today, Laramie should adopt a comprehensive human rights ordinance to cultivate a reputation as a diverse city welcoming to all including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.
Klaus Hanson (Ward 3): I am completing my 12th year as a city council member, have also been vice mayor and mayor during that time, and am very familiar with the operations and problems of the city. I vote on issues by looking at the benefit for the larger number of folks in the city.
Lee Kempert (Ward 3): I have lived in the Laramie community since 1976. I have served on the Laramie City Council since January 1, 2010. I have also served or am currently sitting as a liaison on the parks and recreation board, the Laramie board of health, the Laramie civic center board, the Laramie advisory commission on disabilities, the urban systems advisory committee, the Coalition to prevent substance abuse, and am a graduate of Leadership Laramie.
Karl McCraken (Ward 3): I have been in Laramie since 1981. I have been involved in many financial endeavors 33 years. I was on the Laramie City Council for 4 years and 9 months so my learning curve should be shortened. I left the City Council when the ward boundaries were changed so that both incumbents could not be re-elected. Joe Vitale was re-elected and I would enjoy serving on the council again. I want to be accessible. 760-3116.
Bryan Shuster (Ward 3): I’ve served 2 terms (eight years) on City Council. I attended elementary through high school in Laramie. I have a college degree and am married with three kids. My parents, siblings and myself owned Ideal Foods in Laramie. I have watched Laramie grow and am proud of some things and disappointed in others. I hope to keep Laramie a great place to live and raise a family.
- Should the City assure that the effects of development on open space, aesthetic value, neighborhood character and current residents’ quality of life are addressed—and, if so, how should this be accomplished in the development and permitting process? (100 words)
Andrea “Andi” Summerville (Ward 1): The City has a responsibility to ensure that new development and expansion does not steam roll over the characteristics of our community that Laramie residents hold so dear. Giving the public an opportunity to be more involved in the process so they can offer comments/feedback regarding developments and permitting through increased public notifications with opportunities for additional public meetings are one of the best options we have for trying to ensure that Laramie can continue to grow while still protecting the quality of life, neighborhoods and open space that we currently enjoy.
Oscar Lilley (Ward 2): Future costs should always be considered, whether it is rural subdivision applications or the new high school.It is a duty of the council to preserve our community for future generations.That means striking a balance between services, growth, and cost.Most development can pay for itself through long-term returns in property and sales tax.If added growth or services will cause future deficits then a means of reducing that cost must be found, whether it means cutting the budget elsewhere or finding free market partnerships to share in that cost.Eliminating future high-cost studies would be a good start.
Dave Paulekas (Ward 2): Open space, aesthetic value and neighborhood character should always be a consideration of developments within our community. Zoning and our development code are the two tools for providing guidelines and requirements for new developments. Areas zoned open-space should always be protected. Our development code needs to be reviewed and adjusted periodically to reflect the changing times and attitudes of our residents. Our present zoning code was instigated back in the early 60s. Times have changed and our zoning code has remained the same. It’s time for a comprehensive review of our zoning issues.
Bern Haggerty (Ward 3): Yes. The City exists to insure that the community is heard and respected in the zoning, planning, and permitting processes. The city should facilitate timely, healthy dialog among property owners, neighbors, and community members, including recreational users. Also, significant city resources should be dedicated to establishing and maintaining quality parks and recreation facilities. The city should mandate significant recreational and parks infrastructure in the development of large-scale properties. This is especially true for developments like the Cirrus Sky Technology Park, which are created using taxpayer funding. Controversial city-owned development projects should be subject to a vote of the people.
Klaus Hanson (Ward 3) : I believe these questions are currently addressed in the development code (UDC), which of course remains under continuing review, as citizens have found some aspects--e.g. the current restrictions on tree types and distances between trees in the public area, for example sidewalks--to be too confining. There are other aspects, that also need to be addressed, as for example the limitations on home sidings and roof top colors and material. But I do believe the city has an obligation to see to it that neighborhoods develop in a somewhat compatible and "homogenous" manner. I don't mean "ticky-tacky"…
Lee Kempert (Ward 3): Currently the Laramie Unified Development Code is a worthy starting place for assuring constructive and progressive effects of development. However, with any living document, tweaking and fine tuning regularly become necessary for the success, achievements, and benefits of the foundational purpose of the document.
Karl McCraken (Ward 3): Everyone needs to remember that this is a city of 31,000+ persons with approximately 13,500+ students. This is not a rich community. Several projects left because they could not afford some of the stringent requirements. One that did work is the land development north of Indian Hills. The city made this project work by helping the developer with storm water flows that he did not create, trading land for a large park in the southwest corner of the property and negotiating after the preliminary plat was issued. Most non-local companies will not put up with this elongated procedure. More 760-3116.
Bryan Shuster (Ward 3): The second question has several different answers; how large is the subdivision, how close is it to the city, do they want city water or city sewer and are they over the top aquifer. Every situation is different. The applicant must pay all related fees. The question needs more information to be answered correctly.
- How could the City develop creative solutions, such as public-private partnerships, to address trash and recycling problems in Laramie? (100 words)
Andrea “Andi” Summerville (Ward 1): Partnerships with Albany County, UW, and non-profits such as the Wyoming Conservation Corps are going to be key in developing long term sustainable strategies for the deficits in our recycling program, such as glass recycling. There may also be opportunities to work with private waste haulers serving Laramie and surrounding communities in the future to supplement areas where the City and County could improve or expand recycling or waste collection services. Laramie’s population size presents challenges to running a full service fiscally responsible recycling and waste collection program, but it is not impossible with a team effort.
Oscar Lilley (Ward 2): The government exists solely to serve the people; the people do not exist to justify government growth.We are the stewards of this land, conservation and preservation our duty.We do so because Laramie is our beautiful town and not because a federal agency tells us to.We must find a viable way to reinvigorate a recycling program that is cost effective and increases private jobs.There should also be a creative means of using the city dump in ways that continues services and possibly reduces costs to the city user.Lowering county dump fees would increase use and revenue.
Dave Paulekas (Ward 2): We as a community need to commit to recycling as many products as economically possible. We need to develop an income stream supporting further enhancements of our present efforts. All should share the cost of this income stream: residential and retail users within the city, County citizens, University of Wyoming, hospital, and other large entities. With all parties contributing financially, improvements and expansions can be accomplished with a moderate cost shared by all. Finally, an acceptable reuse for glass within our community needs to be developed to create glass recycling. Shipping glass affordably to Colorado markets is challenging.
Bern Haggerty (Ward 3): I oppose public-private partnerships for profit. Historically, the city has partnered with a non-profit social service agency to provide recycling services. If our partner cannot afford to continue the services due to funding, then we should provide additional funding. We should consider creative funding solutions like a disposable bag fee. In the alternative, the city should encourage proposals from other non-profit community groups. The city should also encourage the creation of new non-profit community groups to promote broader recycling and ecological education programs, especially for school-aged children. Our goal should be to increase, not decrease, recycling.
Klaus Hanson (Ward 3): ): First off, except for the charges levied for these services, I have not heard of any problems with either trash or recycling within the city. City has fulfilled the expensive but mandated D.E.Q. requirements of installing a lined cell for trash deposit to protect ground water contamination. City has taken over recycling when ARC had to abandon it due to cost. I would certainly look at any possible public-private partnership or even privatization, but believe that with our distances, that avenue remains unrealistic for garbage and recycling. Our enterprise fund just breaks even, does not make a profit.
Lee Kempert (Ward 3): The City of Laramie could become an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, which is a U.S. based nonprofit organization focusing on three key issues, litter prevention, waste reduction/recycling and community greening and Beautification. It is conceivable that Laramie then could work together to create solutions and accomplish goals through a combination of community organizing, public education and fostering partnerships with the University of Wyoming, Waste management companies and local civic service clubs to address trash and recycling needs.
Karl McCraken (Ward 3): The city currently uses single source recycling using Waste Management. Anyone such as WDS/Gallegos who has experience in waste management should be negotiated with to see if a mutually beneficial situation could be arrived at. If it cannot, then so be it. I do not believe this could be done until at least next spring as the staff of the sanitary landfill will have their hands full converting to a baling operation and not having persons driving into the pit any longer. I want to be accessible 760-3116.
Bryan Shuster (Ward 3): Our biggest problem is anything we want to recycle has to be shipped to a different state. Ark was doing the job, but prices went down and they could no longer afford it. Wyoming Disposal found it less expensive to ship their solid waste to Colorado then take to Laramie landfill (buying truck trailer driver and all costs). The City in response passed a new law saying all solid waste created in the city limits had to be hauled to the city land fill ( they didn’t want to lose their fees). What outside business would want to work with Laramie.