By on October 11, 2016

Questionable Representation

(Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – After reading “Housing Hopes” (The Buzz, October 5), it appears to me that Town Councilman Don Frank has forgotten that he represents all the people of Jackson, even if they don’t share his vision of Jackson’s future.

At a recent town council meeting Mayor Flitner asked if anyone wanted to open the discussion on the District 2 do-over. Frank lashed out and made several statements about those who voted down the council’s planned land development regulations (LDRs) for Jackson’s downtown core District 2.

In “Housing Hopes,” he was quoted saying: “There was a very noticeable, very well-funded, and very targeted argument about short-term rentals … I would have preferred that the sponsors of this referendum had been more honest about what they wanted to discuss … rather than fulminate a lot of misinformation and a lot of drama and a lot of emotion.  And then bait-and-switch the issue after they got a lot of people wound up.”

Frank sounds like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.  If I recall correctly, it took many town meetings and much discussion to hammer out LDRs in which all parties were satisfied. The council then voted “yes” on the first of three required votes on the LDRs for District 2. However, after meeting with or being contacted by developers who would gain financially, the council added more short-term rental potential to the District 2 plan. This was done with no input from town residents.  Then with little or no public notice, the first of three required votes was quickly held. The council voted “yes” to the revised LDRs with the added short-term rental potential.

Sounds like a bait-and-switch to me.

During the following debate in regard to the added short-term rentals to the LDRs the “yes” side continually emphasized the incentives in the LDRs for developers to build more employee housing.  This supposedly would create more employee housing than would be needed for the additional workforce required to staff the new commercial development. But this was debatable.

In addition, the “yes” side downplayed that the short-term rentals would most probably be in the form of more hotel rooms. Sounds like a lot of misinformation, a lot of drama, and a lot of emotion. In other words, not very honest.

On the day of the referendum, a number of people were seen at the corners of Broadway and Pearl holding very nice signs urging people to vote yes to the LDRs.  This was in addition to other promotions/advertisements urging voters to vote yes.  This gives the appearance of a very well-funded campaign to have the revised LDRs passed.

Later, in the same Planet article, Frank states he does not believe it is good government to capitulate to a very small minority with a very small voting outcome.  He further states he does not believe the majority of the 4,540 registered town voters share the agenda of this small minority.

If there are 500,000 eligible voters, but only 10,000 people vote, the majority of those 10,000 voters determine the outcome of the election. As an elected official, you shouldn’t complain and claim that is not what the majority wants.  If the majority did not go to the polls they must not have cared enough about the issue to vote. By the way, Frank only received 1,636 votes to become councilman in 2014.  That is a minority of the 4,540 registered town voters. He seemed OK with that minority.

-Norman Scott
Jackson, WY

We Need Conservative Courage

On Thursday Wyoming’s Republican Party will hos former presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina. She had the good sense to denounce her party’s leader and has said that Donald Trump should end his destructive and embarrassing presidential campaign. Will Wyoming’s Republican leaders follow suit?

Governor Matt Mead has indicated his “disappointment” in the Republican standard-bearer’s recently released comments about grabbing women by their genitals. Disappointing? Mead, formerly a U.S. attorney, must recognize that Trump’s remarks indicate behavior that is more than immoral; it is criminal.

Meanwhile Wyoming Republican Party congressional candidate, Liz Cheney can be found on Twitter and in press releases extolling Trump’s virtues. Perhaps in Cheney’s Virginia this behavior can just be written off as “locker room talk,” but here in Wyoming we have higher standards.

Throughout this campaign the Wyoming Democratic Party has stated clearly and frequently that Trump does not understand Wyoming and does not share our values of respect for others and civility. His boorish behavior, lying, and unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions should come as no shock to anyone who has followed his career or his campaign.

Last weekend prominent Republicans with moral standing abandoned Trump. However, from Wyoming’s Republican leadership we learned only of their “disappointment.” The Trump campaign’s Wyoming director, Bonnie Foster shrugged off Trump’s behavior saying on television, “I’m married to the oil field and whether it is good or bad this is a conversation they have all of the time.” Putting Wyoming’s hard-working men and women into the same disgusting category as Trump and his dirty mouth is reprehensible.

In announcing her abandonment of Trump, Fiorina said, “Donald Trump does not represent me or my party. I understand the responsibility of Republicans to support their nominee. Our nominee has weighty responsibilities as well. Donald Trump has manifestly failed in these responsibilities.”

Now the question is, will a visit from Fiorina help Wyoming Republicans develop the backbone to renounce Trump and his bullying, hateful rhetoric? We can only hope.

– Ana Cuprill, Chairwoman
– Bruce Palmer, Vice-chairman
Wyoming Democratic Party

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