Former mayors support city administrator position

Re: Tuesday’s special election

Some years ago, past citizen-elected city councils and a Sheridan mayor drafted and approved Ordinance 2158. This ordinance brought in a city administrator form of government. The city manager, a professional city administrator with education in the field should manage the day-to-day operations of the city. This allows the CEO — our mayor — the time to focus on higher level community vision casting. The council agreed to the revised Ordinance 2202 on a 6-1 vote to keep the city administrator form of governance. Only Mayor Miller voted against the ordinance.

Recently, 642 citizens met the standard of 641 signatures required to force a vote on this subject. They absolutely have this right as citizens of our community. It is, however, an expensive attempt (tens of thousands of citizens’ tax dollars) to repeal Ordinance 2202, which then reverts right back to Ordinance 2158 — a city administrator managed municipality. What good does this vote do? Nothing changes!

As past mayors of this community, we see things far differently than the current mayor does. We emphatically believe that a professionally trained and experienced city administrator should manage the city of Sheridan. We see in this community that the largest and best ran business organizations are led by professionally trained experts. Further, we note that the best operated cities within Wyoming, including Casper, Gillette, Laramie, Green River, Evanston, Cody, Jackson, Rawlins, Powell, Douglas and Kemmerer, operate under the “Enzi” model of a successful city administrator model.

The savings from having a city administrator have been significant in Sheridan, with year-over-year expenditure reductions and day-to-day operational efficiencies. Did you know that Sheridan received $24 million in grant monies that have come into our community due to the city administrator and his staff’s expertise? Each of us mayors would have benefited from having a city administrator during our mayoral tenures.

It is time to focus on pressing needs of our community, including good paying jobs, safety for our youth and seniors, improved roads, parks and trail systems and infrastructure and community livability. Please vote “Yes” on Ordinance 2202 so we can continue with our city administrator form of management, which has served us very well in recent years. Sheridan is thriving because of the wisdom of city councils and past mayors who focused on items that county.

A “Yes” vote for this ordinance is a vote for the future of Sheridan. Please vote “Sheridan —Yes 2202.”

Jim Wilson, John Heath and Dave Kinskey

Former Sheridan mayors

Vote ‘No’ in special election

Re: Charter Ordinance 2202

Our vote has been ignored yet again. Even after we handily petitioned to demand a vote on, and handily defeated, a 2008 bid to establish a charter ordinance that attempted to change our form of government.

The use again of Charter Ordinance 2158 in 2015 changed our form of government. It was the second time the use of “Home Rule” statutes were used, improperly I might add, as the way to change our form of government.

Redressing CO2158 as CO2202 is an attempt to brush aside the fact that twice our council took it upon themselves to change our form of government in just seven years. The point that it can fix some of the critical issues CO2158 failed to address matters not. Why?

Allowing CO2202 to take effect does nothing to resolve the mistrust between our city leadership and its residents. However, voting “No” can and will make a strong statement to this next generation of city leadership that it is time to correct the mistake, willful or not, that was made for a second time in 2015 by not allowing us to decide how we are governed.

Voting “No” on CO2202 hurts no one at this particular time, no business, no child, nor the city of Sheridan’s future as the current administrator has chosen not to stay on past November.

We have not yet spent another $40,000-plus on a headhunter to hire new administrator, so why spend that money and another six months searching to fill a position that was inherently poisoned by the very nature of the way it was created?

Bottom line, the consent of the governed is a core aspect of our U.S. Constitution and it is plainly written in our Wyoming Constitution regarding the formation of cities:

“Article 13, Section 2. Consent of electors necessary.

No municipal corporation shall be organized without the consent of the majority of the electors residing within the district proposed to be so incorporated…”

The use of charter ordinances by a handful of individuals, elected or not, to change our form of government is wrong! It can be addressed now before a new administrator is hired. CO2202 must not take effect now and our city leadership needs to rescind CO2158 immediately.

Doing so is in the best interests of all who live in Sheridan.

Bryan Miller

Sheridan 

City council works

for citizens

Re: City administrator vote

The letter I read Oct. 26 from someone whose name I have never heard before did nothing to diminish my opinion on voting “No” in the special election Nov. 5. Once again, this person referred to the cost of a special election. Where was his ire about paying the city manager $170,000-plus in salary and benefits. Where is the outrage to that figure? We pay Mayor Miller $24,000 a year with no benefits. That is even below minimum wage. Shame on us!

Mayor Miller was instrumental in getting Weatherby to build here. He has done more since being elected our mayor that the city manager, whose only job as far as I can determine is doing the budget. The only person you see representing our city and us is our mayor, Roger Miller.

My biggest dissatisfaction with our city government is that when I voted for the mayor, I voted for Roger Miller and the mayoral system of government to run the city. Not a city manager! Very rarely have I felt the need to tell our city council members to do the job we elected them to do — work on behalf of the citizens of Sheridan.

Margaret (Stanbridge) Thrams

Sheridan

Former council

members supports ‘Yes’ vote

Re: City administrator

As a former city councilman, I voted in support of creating the city administrator position. I believe that a strong mayor form of government is essential and having an administrator working at the direction of the mayor only strengthens that position. The role of the mayor is to set a vision and course for the community while directing the administrator to implement that vision internally. I view strong leadership roles as outward looking — and administrative roles as inward looking. A strong mayor will surround him/herself with trained and capable people who can effectively address the growth needs of our community.

Please vote to support Ordinance 2202 and the clarity this ordinance provides to the administrator position.

Jesus Rios

Sheridan

Expertise, experience reasons to vote ‘Yes’

Re: Special election

We will be voting “Yes” on Ordinance 2022 on Tuesday. Although there are many reasons to vote “Yes” on Nov. 5, the ones that stand out to us the most are expertise and experience.

The occupations of our past and present mayors include educators, lawyers, small business owners and police officer/detective to mention a few. All of these positions are important. But none of them prepare an individual to take the reign of Sheridan — a city whose annual budget is approaching $50 million. Of note is the three previous mayors (before our present mayor) all have supported the city administrator. They have run the city and realize what a positive addition to city operations a full-time, experienced administrator has been. Our present city administrator, Mark Collins, has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming. He has been employed as a city manager in Gunnison, Colorado, Grand Lake, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming, prior to accepting his present position in Sheridan. In other words, he has the education and the experience to move Sheridan forward. Sadly, Mr. Collins will be leaving his position Nov. 30. Hopefully, we will be able to find another very qualified individual to lead Sheridan forward.

One other issue needs to be addressed. Those opposed to the administrator position would have you believe that it is too expensive. Yet, they propose doubling the present salary of the mayor and float the idea that the mayor should then hire a chief-of-staff. That appears to be a wash financially (adding the two salaries together) and you lose the expertise and continuity that a city administrator provides.

Patty and Dave Schultz

Sheridan