Cheyenne has been very good to me and my extended family. Therefore, preserving and enhancing our existing high quality of life is the primary motivation of my campaign to once again represent Ward One on the city council. I seek to bring the spirit of my fellow citizens to city hall. I have found my neighbors to be hard-working, forward thinking, compassionate and realistic people. The time has come for us to pull together and make things better.
As the “Father of the Greenway”, I worked with others to initiate and sustain the citywide non-motorized path system that people of all ages currently enjoy. My Greenway volunteer organizational efforts continue to this day and I derive great satisfaction from working side by side with individuals, businesses and organizations to improve the Greenway and thus our community.
Countless hours of attendance at city council meetings, both as a citizen advocate and as a council member, have educated me regarding matters of policy and procedure. This institutional experience will be helpful in evaluating programs, advancing initiatives and responding to constituents’ concerns.
City councilors must be the spark plugs that fire together in a well oiled engine, driving our city forward without the sputtering, backfiring and lurching that categorizes our municipal government today. We need a tune up. I look forward to getting under the hood with the new mayor and city council members to make sure that Cheyenne is good to go as we head down the road to prosperity.
Top three issues:
#1 Deteriorating Streets
When concrete curb and gutter, sidewalks and roadway surfaces fail prematurely, their replacement and repair create a funding deficit throughout Cheyenne’s hundreds of miles of arterial and neighborhood streets. As the city’s Public Works director pointed out at the recent 2017 fiscal year budget adoption meeting, this year’s pavement management fund of 3.85 million dollars is wholly inadequate. 7 million dollars is needed just to maintain our streets in their current condition. It is obvious that we cannot continue to rely on the fifth penny optional sales tax to fund new road work and maintain our existing street system without a thorough review of our “concrete cancer” problem. Alkali silica reactivity is a complex chemical reaction that occurs within the concrete product and causes it to crumble long before its projected lifespan. A vein-like network of deterioration becomes apparent and over time leads to internal disintegration. I propose that a forensic analysis by a qualified outside materials specialist be commissioned, as well as an objective review of the practices that our City Engineer’s office employs in bidding, testing and construction management. We need detailed, scientifically factual answers NOW and if elected I will sponsor a funded resolution to create such a report. Only when the problem is properly identified, acknowledged and corrected, can we begin street repairs that will last and over time, get caught up with our necessary road work.
#2 Breathing Life into our Downtown
I believe that a serious application of the principles of the Wyoming Main Street Program is the best approach to commercial and residential vitality downtown. Evanston and Rawlins, among others, have made notable improvements in true revitalization efforts through the creation of homegrown networks of downtown business and property owners who know what works and what can be realistically accomplished. These basic concepts include constant attention to cleanliness, repair of deteriorating curb and gutter and sidewalks, consistent street tree care, coordination of city services and increased code enforcement.
I headed up the successful Atlas Theater lobby restoration and thoroughly enjoyed soliciting donations and working with other volunteers to brighten up the performing arts cornerstone of downtown Cheyenne. I am presently organizing the initial steps necessary to develop a co-op grocery store downtown. Obviously, a member owned co-op grocery in the heart of the city would be a vital addition to downtown, the West Edge and the Avenues neighborhood as well. I have been involved in many downtown clean-ups and will continue my work in conjunction with the DDA in decorating our downtown for Frontier Days and the holidays.
#3 Public Participation in City Council Meetings
Citizen input is essential to even handed decision making. City council procedures should be revised to encourage community dialogue. The consent agenda ordinance, enacted in 2005, was intended to streamline meetings by forgoing discussion of non-controversial routine items. However at the present time, if a citizen wants to attend a council meeting and speak to one of the numerous agenda items placed on the consent agenda, that individual must seek the sponsorship of not one, but three members of the city council who can remove the item from the consent agenda for public discussion. I believe that this is an unnecessary barrier to public participation in deliberations that might very well affect Cheyenne citizens in a variety of ways, including their property interests. If elected, I will seek to amend the Consent Agenda Ordinance to allow any interested party to call any single item off the consent agenda by simply requesting such action at the beginning of the meeting.
Thank you to the League of Women Voters for providing this important service.