(Gillette, Wyo.) Despite pledging to continue working with the county to find solutions to budget issues, the Mayor and the City Council seemed disappointed with the County Commissioners' recent notice to terminate
the Joint Powers Fire Board.
"The city was surprised when we got that notice," said Mayor Carter-King.
"If they would have invited us to that meeting where that was decided, we
could have avoided some of the extra stress that that caused."
We contacted the County Commissioners office for comment about last week's
decision , and the indication
seemed to be that it was a last-minute one. They did not immediately return
calls today asking who was present at the meeting to write the termination
letter. The mayor mentioned that the Joint Powers Board seems to always be
the scapegoat when there are disagreements between municipal and county
"That being said, we can work together past it, and I believe we can still
have a joint powers fire board."
Discussions are still ongoing about how to work out the budget surrounding
the fire department. Meetings with the City of Wright and the Fire Board
had been planned for some time before the letter of intent was filed last
week, amid mass layoffs.
"We're all stressed and nervous about what's coming. I am sure the
leadership of the county wants to do what's best for our community," the
Mayor added. "Sometimes when you're back's against the wall is when you
come up with the best ideas."
The mayor went on to say this is the toughest situation she's been in since
joining the city government, but she's glad with the council she has, in
order to get through these challenges.
City Administrator Carter Napier agrees that with changes of this
magnitude, it's hard to say what the city will end up with. "What we are
doing is trying to re-imagine how Gillette can operate as a city, given an
economic floor that keeps dropping from under our feet."