Aug 12, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff WriterSarah Kalbach said she enjoys listening to people and hearing the different sides of issues. That's one of the main reasons she decided to run in the Aug. 21 primary election for Riverton City Council Ward 2.
Kalbach served as a councilwoman from 2009 to 2011.
"When I was previously on the council, I loved it so much," Kalbach said. "I personally enjoy seeing how the city works and hearing how people function. I enjoy being able to take what they say to me and translate that into a working city for them. I like being the mouthpiece."
If elected, Kalbach, who is running against challengers Lee Martinez and Todd Smith, said she would like to see more work done with the Job Corps and bringing it to Riverton.
"I was glad to see Riverton stopped spending money on advocates in Washington, D.C.," Kalbach said. "I think that is something we can handle ourselves."
The fiscally conservative Kalbach said she doesn't like to spend money when there is no money to spend and doesn't like borrowing from the federal government or anyone else.
"I like balanced budgets," she said. "I like knowing if we are within budget and if purchases were necessary and what are they being used for."
Kalbach said she thinks people should be offered a hand up not a hand out.
"I appreciate that the courts have mandated that we have a detox center," Kalbach said. I have difficulty seeing how it is of real benefit to the community. Yes, it keeps intoxicated people off the streets, but treatment? Counseling? Long term-reduction in numbers of admissions? None of that has happened."
Kalbach said the detox center has become a planned landing place complete with a meal, a bed and a warm spot to stay with free clothing if needed.
"In other words, detox has become a huge free handout with very little constructive hand up for the individuals," Kalbach said. "I see Set Free Church accomplishing a lot more than our city/state and grant-funded detox center."
Kalbach said her time as a council member was full of difficult issues, and people often got upset with the council, but she said she would remain unchanged if elected again.
"I would probably be the same as I was before," Kalbach said. "If I had one fault I would probably be more aware. I had a tendency to not pay enough attention to the minutiae."
Born and raised in north central Missouri, Kalbach was a paramedic for 27 years. When she retired, she and her husband, Keith, a helicopter mechanic, moved to Riverton where she owns the Tomahawk Motor Lodge.
Kalbach has four children and said she spends the majority of her time being involved with the board of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, a lobbying group for the hospitality industry in Wyoming.
She is president of Fremont County Republican Women and serves on the Wind River Visitors Council where she represents Riverton and helping administration in the County Lodging Tax dollars. Kalbach also serves on an awards committee for the Riverton Police Department.
"I want people to feel comfortable coming and talking to me," Kalbach said. "I will advocate on behalf of the people for whatever issue they have and will listen to them at all times."
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