Sheridan has it

Re: Economic vitality

On June 21, I came to Sheridan for the retirement reception of Dr. Paul Young, president of Northern Wyoming Community College District. As the executive director of the American Technical Education Association it was my honor to be at Dr. Young’s recognition event.

Dr. Young served as the president of the American Technical Education Board of Trustees from 2015-2017, and a total of six years on the executive committee. His leadership of technical education is national. Dr. Young brought positive attention and recognition to technical education which in turn creates jobs and builds an economic ecosystem.

This was my third trip to Sheridan and energy was everywhere. Try to get a seat at Starbucks on Saturday morning. As a former mayor of a suburb of Minneapolis, I recognize the signs of economic vitality, which include the confidence to create and preserve beauty and bring in the arts. You have it. Stately Sheridan brick buildings are renovated next to one story construction with signage announcing tenants from piping to catering.

The retirement event was an amazing gathering of leaders and residents of northern Wyoming communities. Gov. Mark Gordon, Sen. Dave Kinskey — also a former Sheridan mayor, the Northern Wyoming Community College District Board of Trustees lead by Norleen Healy, the Sheridan Foundation Board and hundreds of others. Dr. Mark Englert, former vice president at Gillette College and ATEA Board of Trustees was there. The reception was followed by a Jazznet concert with musicians from Laramie, Billings and Wyoming. They were led by Dr. Eric Richards in the Whitney Center for the Arts. The acoustics in the Whitney concert hall are world class and will serve the region for decades.

It was good to hear that the community recognized Dr. Young’s role in fostering the growth of economic diversity that added 250 manufacturing jobs and his vision to build out the campus to be a regional community resource. According to The Sheridan Press, in the week prior to the reception, they captured Dr. Young signaling another “touchdown” for the Northern Wyoming Community College District Board of Trustees who approved the land agreement that would enable the eventual expansion of Sheridan College.

From the American Technical Education Association, thank you Dr. Young for your leadership of technical education at all levels. And, to incoming President Dr. Tribley and the Northern Wyoming Community College District, we wish you continued success.

 

Sandra Krebsbach, Ph.D.

Executive director,  American Technical Education Association

 

Bailing out the arts

Re: City decision to forgive WYO debt

At the July 1 Sheridan City Council meeting, our very generous mayor and city council voted unanimously to absolve the WYO Performing Arts and Education Center of the $83,112.32 it owed the city of Sheridan. The WYO’s total is about $109,000 of debt.

When I asked our elected officials why, all they talked about was the mythical millions of dollars the WYO supposedly brings into our city, every year (in their wildest dreams). If those claims are true, why was the WYO $109,000 in debt?

Are we to believe thousands of tourists, from out of state, come to Sheridan to visit the WYO? Do they think we live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Houston? Those are huge cities with the population and the money to support the finest of the performing arts.

Our greatest assets are our people and our scenery.

When a local merchant has to close their struggling business, no one from the city offers them a penny of bailout money. But, when the WYO (backed by Sheridan’s rich and famous) is struggling, they’re bailed out by our elected officials, courtesy of the hard working everyday men and women of Sheridan.

The actions of the mayor and city council are a disgrace to the community.

 

John Fafoutakis

Sheridan