SHERIDAN — Four candidates running for three positions on Sheridan County Commission participated in Wednesday’s candidate forum, which was again well-attended by area residents. The positions on County Commission will be decided in the primary election Aug. 19.
Included in the forum were:
Commissioner Steve Maier: Maier said he has been responsive to the people of Sheridan County in his two terms on County Commission. He has lived in Sheridan County 26 years and is active in promoting the arts, sports, historical preservation, the Dog and Cat Shelter and education.
Commissioner Bob Rolston: Rolston has served two terms as a county commissioner and said he has work yet to do. He said he has learned to listen and explain his votes in his job. Rolston worked in the cattle industry most his life.
Commissioner Terry Cram: Cram has served 10 years on County Commission and said he has always insisted on a straight up, honest and transparent way of doing business. Cram worked for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for 30 years.
Challenger Dennis Fox: Fox said he is running to offer voters a choice because he believes government unchallenged can become government unchecked. He will promote individual freedoms, lower taxes and limited government. Fox lives about seven miles outside of Ranchester.
Q: Do you approve of the one-cent sales tax? If Park County can survive on a 4 percent tax, why does Sheridan need 6 percent?
• Fox: Fox said Sheridan County is one of 12 counties in the state with a 6 percent sales tax while nearly half the state gets along fine on a 5 percent sales tax. He said a lower sales tax provides relief to citizens who can use the extra money saved for their own needs. Fox noted that he helped repeal the food tax in Wyoming and that nobody seems to want that back.
• Cram: Cram said he approves the tax because he doesn’t want to be the one to tell the Senior Center it must reduce meal delivery or the Advocacy and Resource Center it can’t house as many battered individuals. The tax helps Sheridan County care for the needs of residents that government would not otherwise be able to afford, he said, adding that nearly 50 percent of the tax is paid by non-residents.
• Rolston: He said the tax has been voted in by residents because they see it has served needed purposes that residents alone would not be able to handle. Rolston said a lot of nonprofits in the county would be unable to function without one-cent funds.
• Maier: Maier said that Cody no longer has its own hospital and is having landfill issues, indicating it may not be doing well on a 4 percent sales tax. He said the county has just enough money in its operating budget to provide required services and that the one-cent tax enables nonprofits to exist and provide the quality of life enjoyed so much by residents.
Q: What is your stance on obtaining right-of-ways for a natural gas line from Sheridan to Ranchester and Dayton?
• Maier: Maier noted that the commissioners recently provided right-of-way access along county roads to The Brinton Museum for a natural gas pipeline and that he would support doing the same for a line from Sheridan to the Tongue River Valley. He also said the County Commission has already supported the project with dollars, too.
• Rolston: Rolston agreed with Maier that he would support helping the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board obtain rights of way. He said the pipeline was one of the greatest things to happen in the area.
• Cram: Cram noted the commissioner’s efforts to obtain right-of-ways for the Sheridan Area Water Supply system working with more than 100 landowners and negotiating a fair price. He said he would do the same for the natural gas line.
• Fox: Fox said he was not on the board or privy to the details of the natural gas line but that he felt private property rights needed to be respected.