PINEDALE – County officials expressed their grief this week, following the unexpected death of the longtime county planner Bart Myers on Monday afternoon.
The commissioners held budget workshops throughout the week, including Monday, when county clerk Mary Lankford and board chair Andy Nelson were first notified just before 4 p.m. of Myers’ passing amid a flurry of phone calls and hallway discussions as the rest of the commissioners continued with the workshop. Once the workshop adjourned at about 4:45 p.m., Nelson notified the other commissioners.
On Tuesday, the commissioners opened their regular meeting with a moment of silence.
“There are no more Bart Myers out there,” said Nelson, following the observance. “He was a tremendous fellow and a good friend. God speed, Bart Myers.”
On Wednesday, the Sublette County Sheriff K.C. Lehr issued a press release echoing Nelson’s reaction.
“It is with heavy heart that we report the loss of our coworker and friend Bart Myers,” he said in the release, going on to explain the circumstances surrounding Myers death.
“On Monday, June 5, at around 3:15 p.m., Sublette County EMS personnel noticed a male subject slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in between Skyline Street and Pinedale East Road,” said the release. “Upon closer inspection and through the use of an EKG (electrocardiogram) test, the subject was pronounced dead at the scene. The subject was later identified as Bart Myers.”
According to the sheriff’s release, Myers was “dressed in workout attire and had a fit-bit style watch on his wrist, which showed he had gone 4.3 miles as of June 5.” He had recently acquired a sheep tag and “was working out daily and diligently to get in shape for the upcoming hunt.”
According to the press release, the sheriff speculated that Myers may have been returning home from his workout in order to change back into his business attire “when he experienced some type of critical event.”
“The vehicle Bart was driving left the roadway and came to rest on a small pile of gravel,” the release said. “No foul play is suspected.”
An autopsy was scheduled for June 7 in Fort Collins, Colo., as standard procedure to determine the cause of death.
Myers served as the Sublette County Planner for the Planning and Zoning Department for the past 11 years but his duties often extended beyond the department, and the commissioners often relied on him to serve in additional capacities, including as the county’s liaison for the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) and for the state’s ENDOW program, among other roles.
Personnel from the County Clerk’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office will help fill the role of the Planning and Zoning Department in the short term, as the county hopes to fill the position in the next couple of months. Staff with the County Attorney’s Office will help facilitate the Planning and Zoning Commission meetings.
Commissioner Tom Noble will now be assisting with the ENDOW program but who fills Myers’ WPLI role remains to be seen.
“I hope citizens can understand this is going to be kind of an uneven transition,” said deputy county attorney Matt Gaffney on Tuesday.
Services for Myers will be held at Pinedale Community Church, located at 113 S. Maybell Ave., on Monday, June 12, at 2 p.m.