Legislative Update and an opinion

There have been multiple county meetings for Region 10 in the redistricting of legislative districts throughout the state, and a Joint Corporations Committee meeting on Dec 1 and 2. The committee decided on a statewide plan that we would work from, and Region 10 (Sublette, Teton, Lincoln and Uinta) sent the state a plan concerning Region 10 that we thought would work. The big change for Sublette County is that it would be reunited into a single district under House District 20, currently Albert Sommers, which means Daniel, Hoback Ranches and Bondurant would be in House District 20 instead of HD 22.

There’s another joint redistricting meeting occurring Dec. 14 where we will address the issue of the growth of population in Cheyenne and the reduction of population in Carbon and Sweetwater Counties. However, I feel that the issue of redistricting pales in comparison to the rezoning issues in Bondurant recently voted upon.

Despite overwhelming opposition from all over Sublette County not to change the zoning for the Jackson Creek Ranch on the upper Hoback, three Sublette Commissioners voted to approve it. That approval flew in the face of the idea that the government closest to the people is best or that local control is also fundamental in conservative government.

The reason this decision is objectionable is:

  1. It is not friendly to agriculture.
  2. It did not follow the 10 considerations outlined in the zoning application.
  3. It went against the Zoning Board’s (P&Z) majority recommendation.
  4. Two of the commissioners’ decisions lacked transparency in that they refused to offer reasons for their vote.

As a contractor of 35 years in both Sublette and Teton counties, I have seen the promise of preference to local contractors be offered and yet, in the end, large contractors from places like Salt Lake City and Denver have ultimately won those contracts at the expense of the local work force. As a resident of both Teton and Sublette counties, I have valued the community sense of preservation in Sublette County and watched the degradation of community in Teton County due to over-development.

Along the same lines of land use and agriculture, five new conservation easements were placed in Sublette County. The Stockgrowers’ Land Trust added three new conservation easements, and the Jackson Hold Land Trust, which now includes the Green River Land Trust, added two more easements specifically in Bondurant with the intent of preserving land for wildlife and agriculture.

Ironically, these actions were happening at the same time as the rezoning. The first three easements happened with the assistance of the Wyoming Wildlife Trust Fund.

Upcoming, as mentioned previously, I have at least two more Corporations meetings regarding redistricting before session. Also, upcoming is a Joint Revenue meeting Dec. 15 and 16 in Cheyenne.

Happy Holidays!

Jim Roscoe, Rep HD 22