Props and Disses

By on June 25, 2014

Darby dissed by Teton County, WY  (PROP)

When Teton County authorities, along with the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, stepped up to help Yellowstone open roads last winter, they also opened the door to future financial bailouts to the federal government. The latest proposed handout was shot down last Monday, and rightly so.

County commissioners declined to supply the $7,000 to $16,000 in money and equipment needed to repair Darby Canyon Road in Idaho. Teton County Idaho commissioners hoped to share the cost of fixing the popular access road to the Girl Scout camp and wind/ice caves trailhead with Wyoming. The road should be maintained by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, but they don’t have the dough.

The Darby Canyon wind and ice caves.

The Darby Canyon wind and ice caves. Image: jacksonholenet.com

Helping the feds fix roads they are supposed to be fixing will only allow them to budget their slim funds somewhere else less important, like the study of tufted titmouse habitat.

Teton County public information officer Charlotte Reynolds got it right when she said, “When it comes down to it, it’s not a county road.” No, it’s not. And it certainly isn’t a Teton County, Wyoming road. This is C-T’s problem, if not that of the other Teton County.

The same thing happened in the Gros Ventre recently when local residents pitched in and patched the pockmarked stretch of bad road leading to the Atherton Campground because Bridger Teton officials did not consider that a spending priority.

The do-it-yourself approach is admirable but spending local taxpayer money on projects that should be funded by national taxpayers is double dipping.

Working class gets a leg up  (PROP)

Jackson Hole needs more of this. The Wyoming Community Foundation is offering scholarships for people participating in registered apprenticeship programs in the automotive, construction, carpentry, plumbing and electrical trades.

What a great way to introduce someone to our area who may one day choose to settle here and CONTRIBUTE to the community. Too often, moving vans are packed with, oh let’s say, Californians, whose initial investment with Jackson Hole was answering an online Sotheby’s listing. These second and third home owners might shovel a bit of cash into the local economy but, for the most part, they are nonexistent when it comes to providing an actual service.

Jackson Hole is in continual peril of losing its soul – known as the middle class, or working class. It’s already getting harder and harder to find someone to fix your car, HVAC system or toilet. Where are all the real people who live and work here? People that join Rotary and wait in line at supermarkets and the post office? They’ve all been muscled out to Star Valley, Teton Valley and beyond by the high cost of living and lack of housing.

Targeting folks with a so-called blue-collar skill and infusing them with a passion for our place is a smart investment in keeping the valley working and thriving. The foundation will award 10 scholarships of $600. At least it’s a start.

Cop cash out of line (DISS)

Look, I’m a huge fan of cops. My brother is a cop in New York City. I’m not one of those who have a reason to distrust police or feel they have it in for me. They are, for the most part, good guys and gals who get paid too little to protect and serve.

But Jim Stanford is right to question a $300,000 increase in the Jackson Police Department budget. We are still in belt-tightening mode with several capital improvement projects looming. We have a brittle wastewater treatment plant, a leeching dump and an oozing butte to pay for.

And, quite frankly, there does seem to be plenty of cop cars around town. Maybe they are asking for fancier Tasers or faster onboard laptops, but if three hundy large is going toward hiring more patrolmen, hold on.

The town’s biggest crimes of late have been missing flags and door handles. Not exactly the type of big city crime that begs for a thickening of the thin blue line. Let’s talk about consolidating the SO and PD. Immediately.


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