Aug 14, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff WriterFremont County Commission candidate Red Fyler doesn't hide the fact that he voted for incumbents Doug Thompson and Pat Hickerson in the last election.
"I don't think I would be doing what I'm doing if I was happy," said Fyler, a South Pass area resident on Pine Creek since 1998 and chief of the Atlantic City fire battalion for the last several years.
"A lot of people urged me to do it. I am not happy with the commissioners that are in there," the 61-year-old said about reasons for seeking office. "They're not really in touch with the people anymore or emergency services."
Case in point for Fyler is the highly controversial Bunker Road issue in the Lander area.
Fyler said that Bureau of Land Management parcel accessed by Bunker Road is going to be part of a property swap in the future.
"That's going to be exchanged as a trade for deeded land elsewhere," Fyler said. "So why this was done, I don't know. As far I can tell, they shouldn't have done it, knowing this was in the works with BLM, or possibly knowing."
Fyler is seeking the Republican nomination for the commission's District 5 seat in the Aug. 21 primary against challengers Jennifer McCarty and incumbent Doug Thompson.
The district covers much of the county's southern portion including a section of Lander and a swath that stretches north to encompass east Riverton.
Fyler said he disagrees with the commission's districting.
"I wish it would be at-large. I think it should be two term limits. For commissioners, I think it should be term limits on it," he said. "One of the candidates for the district I'm running in, he says he's been in there for 12 years and wants another four to finish the job. I think that's been long enough."
Fyler is concerned about $830,000 in legal fees the county may have to pay for fighting litigation concerning the commission election. He also wants to address employee health care.
"They're cutting back on the way they supply the health insurance to these folks," he said.
Fyler pointed to concerns he has about the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District.
He said he has had to deal with the vastly decreased hours of operations at the trash transfer station in Atlantic City.
"I know the board is running it, but they pick the board," he said of the commission appointing members to lead the solid waste district.
The set schedule for the transfer stations faces significant problems in the wintertime, he said.
"Say the day the pass is closed, what happens then? They have no alternative to it. Then the following week the pass could be closed again. Then what?" he said.
Fyler has other complaints about the commission's management of county government affairs.
"I'd like to be more in touch with the sheriff's office and the issues they've been having with them and the coroner," he said.
There have been debates recently over decals on coroner Ed McAuslan's vehicles and glove purchases by Skip Hornecker.
"I think Ed's right on his position on these decals," Fyler said.
He used the example of a search for a person who traversed two ranches in the county.
"The coroner's vehicle shows up, (bystanders) know before the family," he said.
Fyler said he supports the sheriff on the glove issue.
"I was ready to go in with a $100 bill myself and give it to the sheriff so he could go buy gloves," he said.
"I get along with all the emergency services, and I understand them," Fyler said. "I think these guys have gotten out of touch."
The candidate doesn't have any set goals for office.
"I have no platform. Until I get in there and see what they have done behind closed doors," he said.
The upcoming 1 percent tax on the ballot is a concern for Fyler.
"The people are talking to me and not trusting the commissioners with what it's supposed to be used for," he said. "I'm not just talking to people in my district. I'm talking to the entire county. I've worked every end of this county as a contractor and for emergency services."
Fyler has resided in Fremont County for about 35 years, living in Riverton and Lander before relocating to the South Pass area 14 years ago. He has been married to his wife, Michele, for 40 years, and they have two sons and two grandchildren.
He is a first responder in Fremont County, working on an ambulance on occasion as well as on search and rescue with a K-9 bloodhound tracking team.
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