Sheriff, council talk about Big Piney citations

By Joy Ufford,
Posted 12/28/23

“Some ordinances are well over 40 years old,” the sheriff said. “Some have been recodified but a lot have not been revised.”

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Sheriff, council talk about Big Piney citations


SUBLETTE COUNTY – As the first on the Big Piney Town Council’s agenda, Sheriff KC Lehr brought up previous concerns about ordinance violations and how to resolve them.

Councilmembers had hopes that county deputies could write notices of violations for citizens who were not fully complying with municipal codes about weeds and vehicles.

Present at the Dec. 19 meeting were Mayor Shane Voss and councilmembers Sierra Banks, Kinsy Voss, Tawnya Miller and Dalin Hughes.

The sheriff included town attorney Doug Mason and code enforcer Greg Eiden while addressing the council, saying he has concerns about how some ordinances are written.

“Some ordinances are well over 40 years old,” the sheriff said. “Some have been recodified but a lot have not been revised.”

When two disagreeing parties have differing personal perspectives on how “objective reasonableness” should be defined regarding excess vehicles or weeds, both feel they are right, he said.

In one instance, Lehr cited properties with “too many” vehicles that no one asked him to look into while another is a focus. At a property the town did complain about, he said he considered it “clean and orderly” with no engines or parts laying around or any accumulated trash. The vehicles, some for work, are all registered at the multifamily residence, he said.

“Do we follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law,” Lehr said.

Also, if the town clerk follows the process to write a letter or issue a warning that includes potential fines or levies, he said, it becomes a civil process and law enforcement can’t issue a criminal ticket.

As for “unsightly weeds,” an ordinance states they can’t be over 6 inches high but part of another ordinance specifies “vacant lots.” Mason questioned him; the sheriff pointed to a subsection of another code.

“We can’t get into apples and oranges,” he said, adding the ordinances need more clarity.

“Those are being recodified right now,” said Miller. Those books are being reviewed by American Legal Publishing.

Lehr also advised sticking town notices about not parking on the street during winter as warnings. “All of us need to work together as fair as possible.”


Mayor Voss looked over an invite from county administrator Jeness Saxton to participate in monthly meetings to develop a countywide mission statement or goals.

Banks said she was interested but couldn’t attend the first meeting on Jan. 18. The councilmembers decided each would attend one meeting so they could collaborate after each meeting.

Town clerk Kristi Gray moved on to the town’s audit, which uncovered that some millions are in accounts not insured for the total balance. “That’s a huge amount to move,” she said.

The auditor suggested investing in bonds or state WyoStar accounts. The council agreed to invest about $5 million in bonds and $1 million in WyoStar.


Recreation manager Eddy Delgado asked the council to hire two new employees, which the council did unanimously.

Eiden reported that he spent several days “rounding up” some stray cows and a bull and took two loose dogs to his shop one night until the owners could pick them up.

He updated the council on the Green River Valley Museum’s efforts to shore up the donated historic Texaco station, which needs a new roof.

“They’re putting in walls to hold up the ceiling but the state is holding them up,” Eiden said.

Water-sewer manager Mike Wagstaff reported that he and Jorgensen engineer Colter Lane are looking at contractors for the chlorine facility. Also, water tank divers inspected the interiors and advised they be blasted and recoated; they found ice at the high-water level.

Parks-streets manager Kara Losik said the lack of snow – so far  means little to no sanding or plowing.

“If it doesn’t start snowing more I will likely go after additional licensing,” Losik said.

Also, Wagstaff will be gone over the holidays so she encourages citizens to call her first.

Lastly, she asked the councilmembers how “proactive” they wanted her to be with sanding and plowing. The skid-steer uses $100 worth of diesel when she takes it out.

“Do we take out the sanding truck at $350 for a load of sand?”

Hughes said, “If it’s cold and icy I would absolutely want you to sand.”

The mayor said: “Use your better judgment – you’ve been doing this for a long time.”

The council adjourned into an executive session to discuss legal issues and took no action.