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Commissioners- Laramie County

The following were questions presented to Laramie County Commissioner candidates. Candidates answers are listed below.

In order to have the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce endorse a candidate, one must align with at least eight of the ten questions posed. Those that are officially endorsed by the chamber are as follows:

Amber Ash*        Buck Holmes*
 *Signifies a perfect score.

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1. Do you support the Christenson Road Project?

Why is this important? The Chamber believes this project is an important artery on the east side to ensure future economic development in our community.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "Yes, I have voted in favor of the TIGER grand applications. Furthermore, the County has placed Christensen Road o nits short list for the 6th Penny ballot and has tentatively allocated &6.5 million from their portion of the 6th Penny Ballot, anticipating that the City will likewise allocate $6.5 million."
  • Buck Holmes
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2. Do you support efforts to keep F.E. Warren and the Wyoming Guard in Cheyenne, and are you willing to participate with both  time and county resources to ensure the future of our largest employer?

Why is this important? As the single largest economic driver of Cheyenne, the military is crucial for our economic future. We expect our elected officials to understand and support military.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "Yes.  I've demonstrated as much in the time that I've been on the Commission; i.e. I have voted in favor of increasing our contribution to Wranglers; I represented the County last year in the FEWAFB Community Partnership; and this year, I attended and presented the Month of the Military Child Proclamation."
  • Buck Holmes
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3. Do you support a nominal gift acceptance policy for county staff with a limit of $25 per year?

Why is this important? The Chamber believes that gifts to taxpayer funded employees is unethical and erodes our democratic process.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "The County currently has a policy in our employee handbook on gifts that was adopted August 15, 1995.  I would encourage the Chamber of Commerce to review this policy and provide feedback."
  • Buck Holmes
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4. Do you support the 6th penny tax as a vehicle to fund important county needs?

Why is this important? The Chamber believes this tax is an important vehicle to fund much needed infrastructure improvements for economic development.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "I am chairing the 6th Penny Committee for the May 2017 ballot."
  • Buck Holmes
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5. Do you support an official system for citizens to lodge complaints against county government with a guarantee of no reprisals?

Why is this important? We believe that all citizens should have the right to voice concerns of their  government without any retribution.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "I am not opposed to testing this but I thought that was why we had elected officials.  Shouldn't citizens be able to contact their elected officials with their grievance without fear of reprisal?  If the idea is to have an anonymous system, the challenge becomes garnering enough information to identify the problem.  If it is anonymous to prevent reprisal and we don't have enough information, we can't address the grievance. Experience has shown that this type of thing is rarely used once implemented.  For example, in response to concerns from emergency responders about lag time in calls, incorrect information transmitted, etc..., we created a form for them to document their concerns.  The idea was that it would give us enough information to be able to determine whether the issue was caused by the caller providing wrong information, the dispatcher transmitting the wrong information, computer software failure, WyoLink failure, the emergency responder misreading the information, etc...  To my knowledge, the form has been submitted once."
  • Buck Holmes

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6. Do you support holding constant or reducing initial costs for startup businesses or business expansion?

Why is this important? Holding costs down for business startup and expansion is an important tenant of our economic future.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "There are two parts to this question.  The first is fees.  Our fees should be competitive and only what is reasonable and necessary to provide quality customer service.  The second is regulation.  The Commission as a whole has worked hard to ensure that we provide a business friendly environment and that we accommodate individual business needs within reason.  This includes making sure that the Chamber is a partner at the table when we are working on long-range plans like the Laramie County Comprehensive Plan and staff members presenting the Plan and questionnaires at one of the monthly meetings." 
  • Buck Holmes
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7. Do you support a "no lobbying" policy for staff that reflects the state's current policy?

Why is this important? The Chamber believes that strong ethics imply that those who can receive potential benefits from decisions should not have the ability to influence those decisions. 

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "The County has a proposed "Political Activity" policy for the updated employee handbook which is currently being finalized for adoption.  I would encourage the Chamber to review it and provide feedback."
  • Buck Holmes
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8. I believe in and will adhere to the "Enzi Principle"- I can find common ground and agree with people 80% of the time.

Why is this important? We believe it is extremely important for officials to be able to find common ground. The Enzi principle has worked great on the national level for policy. We believe this principle can work locally as well.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "There is no "I" in "team."  I can't achieve anything if I am not willing and able to work with others.  I think that I demonstrated this very effectively on PlanCheyenne.  I worked through numerous concerns and comments from multiple individuals and groups to try to determine what was necessary and what could be modified or removed to address those concerns."
  • Buck Holmes
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9. Will you support efforts to enhance air travel at Cheyenne Regional Airport?

Why is this important? Transportation - specifically air travel- is extremely important to every economy.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "Yes.  I supported efforts to attract Allegiant and will continue to do so.  At the Governor's Economic Summit a couple of years ago, one of the sessions emphasized that transportation and access continues to be our largest hurdle to attracting business; particularly air travel."
  • Buck Holmes

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10. Will you support grants for business expansion and economic development projects in Laramie County?

Why is this important? The Chamber believes it is important to provide incentives to businesses looking to relocate to Wyoming.

Candidates responded with an answer directly aligning with that of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce:

  • Amber Ash- "Yes.  Not only have I voted for them but, in conjunction with LEADS, I have met with members of the SLIB board to advocate for projects.  I have attended SLIB meetings to advocate for projects.  I represented Laramie County at the closing for Magpul.  I have also worked with other groups to promote economic development. One example is that I worked with Fire Districts 1 & 2 to complete the schematic design of a fire station for Archer which will enhance services, reduce homeowner insurance rates, expand and promote the LCCC residency program, and improve the marketability of land for sale at Archer.  Another example is that I secured $111,000 in funding for RV hookups and a sanitary dump station at Archer, enabling the Fair to host groups like the Jackalope Club."
  • Buck Holmes