A new year and a new day
emerged as Sublette County Commissioners
reorganized the board and elected Commissioner
David Burnett the new chairman.
The first meeting 2019 opened with Sublette
County Commissioners Jan. 8 regular
meeting. Commissioners David Burnett,
Joel Bousman, Tom Noble, Mack Rawhouser
and newly-elected Doug Vickrey
were in attendance.
It was not easy for Burnett as he often
called on “Chairman Bousman” or “Chairman
Vickrey” throughout the first meeting
of the year. The meeting was also a first for
Sublette County Clerk Carrie Long taking
notes for the first time following the retirement
of Mary Lankford, who had served as
Sublette County Clerk for nearly 38 years.
All was not smooth and seamless as the
nameplate for Vickrey was misspelled, and
newly ordered signature stamps hadn’t arrived,
requiring a lengthy hand-signing process
for all county bills.
While the first meeting of the year was
awkward for everyone, the second meeting
on Jan. 22 will be even busier as already
the agenda has turned into a jam-packed
meeting that will determine consensus
fund items as towns and districts apply for
money and broadband contracts with providers
are reviewed. The commission will
dispose of regular agenda items, including
department reports, in order to get commissioners
and the newly-elected county clerk
on the road for the annual Wyoming Association
of County Commissioners meeting
with legislators in Cheyenne the following
Long explained she is revamping the
County Clerk’s Office, making herself
available on “the floor,” filling a position
previously left vacant when things slowed
two years ago and filling the position she
left vacant as she moved into the county
She added the office previously held by
Lankford will be used by Deputy Clerk
Tracy Hoover, while she will remain on the
floor to help the public.
As part of the transition, the clerk, treasurer
and planning and zoning offices may
hire a part-time employee to cover vacations
and other vacancies in all three offices.
Later in the meeting, Sublette County
Planner Dennis Fornstrom reported on the
increased number of permits issued by his
office in the past year over 2016 and 2017.
Commissioners said this additional person
could be used to fill in when Fornstrom
is out to inspect sites or other duties.
Among items discussed was an ongoing
contract with Dave Smith for maintaining
county communication systems.
In September, the Kismet communications
tower burned in the Roosevelt Fire,
putting an abyss of no communication for
the northern section of Sublette County.
Smith, who is also hired to assist as the
county rebuilds the communication center
countywide, deployed a personal vehicle
and generator to guarantee continued
communications. He had billed the county
$2,000 for October and November for the
use of his truck. In December, county
commissioners delayed paying the bill
saying they had no contract and had never
negotiated the price.
Smith spoke to them at the January meeting,
saying he had no intention of creating
bad feelings. He said he researched rental
prices for similar-style vehicles and based
his bill to the county on a nationwide average.
He said going forward, he would cut his
bill in half.
At a previous meeting, Sheriff KC Lehr
defended Smith and his invoice saying the
emergency action was needed and Smith
had configured the temporary communication
system and deployed it even as the
Kismet Tower burned, so the county’s
communication system was only down for
hours. He said there was no time to negotiate
or establish costs and Smith took the
responsibility of traveling to the temporary
site once or twice a day to ensure the generator
was fueled during the disaster.
However, since power has been restored,
the generator is still there, but does not need
Commissioners paid the December invoice
and agreed with Smith that the truck
and temporary communication equipment
would remain in place until a permanent
facility is constructed – but at the lower fee
to the county. n