Re: Memberships, commitments
With the closure of our public schools and additional closures throughout our community, it is important to stop and reflect on how we can individually move our communities dial back to center.
One of the simplest ways you can do this is by pausing. Pause and breathe. Pause before you take more than you need. Pause before you make life-changing decisions. And pause before canceling your local memberships, subscriptions, orders and donations. This last simple act of pausing will sustain many local businesses and organizations until our economy stabilizes.
We know not everyone is in a situation to continue to pay their regularly scheduled expenses but if you are, consider it as an investment in our community businesses, facilities and nonprofits. View it as an investment in slowing down the turmoil.
No action is required. Just sustain your current commitments and recognize your role as a crucial part of our local economy. Thanks for making Sheridan a wonderful place to live during the good times but even more so during challenging times. Take care and know we are in it together.
Executive director, Sheridan County YMCA
Act more responsibly
Re: Mayor’s ask for
Recently, Mayor Miller put forth a compensation agenda item for consideration by the Sheridan City Council. It was a request we have heard before from the mayor to increase his salary and that of the council and this time with full benefits. The council debated the matter and then voted to postpone further discussion.
Two issues here: First, the mayor does not listen very well. His prior request for a salary increase was turned down. But, he persists. Why? To serve the Sheridan community is a privilege, not a compensation opportunity.
Second, the council voted 4-3 to postpone any decision. Incredibly, as our community and our country are swept by a health pandemic, the council had three members vote to continue the discussion. Is there no sense of decency? Sheridan County residents and businesses are losing jobs and facing increasing debt resulting from this health crisis.
The vote should have been 7-0, but for some council members it would appear that personal goals outweighed community focus.
Gentlemen, please act more responsibly. Our community deserves unified and community-minded leadership from the mayor and council.
Paul Del Rossi
Let doctors speak
Re: Nickerson video
Dr. David Nickerson, an outstanding doctor in our community, recently posted an informational video that he made, on his own, addressing the Coronavirus. This video has been making the rounds on Facebook and other social media sites and has been welcomed and appreciated by everybody that I have spoken to.
Dr. Nickerson presented the information in the video in a straightforward, clear, concise, and accessible manner.
Dr. Nickerson has a wonderful video presence where he came across as being calm, warm, very human, knowledgeable, and caring.
Everyone seems to feel the same, that his ‘talk’ was a great service to the community. And Dr. Nickerson did this on his own time, and time is a very valuable resource, especially right now, to medical professionals, across the globe.
I am sure everybody has his reasons, but I was very disappointed to find out that the powers-that-be at Sheridan Memorial Hospital asked Dr. Nickerson to refrain from creating any more of these posts. I don’t disagree with the principle of an organization like SMH that wants to keep an eye on who is representing them, but in this case, Dr. Nickerson should have been thanked, appreciated, and encouraged to continue along this line of action. I hope that in all their wisdom, SMH will support and promote Dr. Nickerson’s endeavor, and facilitate his informative and helpful video talks.
His one talk (so far) was a huge gift to this community.
It reflects well on Dr. Nickerson, and given the chance, could reflect well on Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
Oppose mayor’s compensation proposal
Re: Mayor, council salaries
We are not in favor of Mayor Miller’s proposed Ordinance 2009 (City Council meeting, March 16, 2020) asking a 100% pay increase, full health benefits and state retirement benefits for the mayor and city council. We know that Wyoming industries are struggling. As the health pandemic continues, local businesses are limiting hours and reducing employees. The tourism business — a key component of our local economy is also challenged. To say the least, it is a trying time for our local employers and citizens. Sales taxes and bed tax collections will no doubt decline.
The city is aware of an upcoming $200,000 increase in employee health insurance, increased funding requirements for air service, and the ongoing Kendrick Park hill slide project. The list of other city related expenses continues on. Sheridan citizens cannot afford a 100% pay increase plus additional benefits that equal (by city staff’s calculation) in excess of $200,000. Mayor Miller’s proposal sends the wrong message to our citizens. We think that any form of wage and benefit increases are inappropriate during this very challenging time.
A recent statewide survey shows that wages of the mayor and the city council are competitive for cities who employ a city administrator. The “City Administrator” Ordinance 2122 was adopted in March 2012. The mayor’s salary didn’t change until January 2017 when the city administrator was hired to manage the city. The mayor says that his wages are the same wages as a Sheridan mayor in 1980. This is a misleading statement. In 1980, the city of Sheridan did not employ a city administrator to execute the bulk of Sheridan’s administrative responsibilities.
Furthermore, Mayor Miller and city council knew the compensation when running for office. Mayor Miller’s 2020 Election Facebook site shows that he is running again. With that, the current wages and benefits have clearly not distracted him from the decision to run for another term. The timing of this proposed ordinance appears opportunistic. The focus and priority of the mayor and council must be focused on fiscal prudence and helping citizens. We encourage you to contact Mayor Miller and the city council to give your thoughts.
Thank you for the great honor to serve our community.
Rich Bridger, Sheridan City Council president
Patrick Henderson, Sheridan City Council