Aug 14, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff WriterA strong supporter of Fremont County's tea party activities, Jennifer McCarty wants to serve as a county commissioner so she can use her conservative ideology in office.
"I'm seeking office because I believe that we need new, conservative leadership with common sense and vigilance over our county assets," said McCarty, who lives in rural Lander.
"I believe that we need better-skilled business management professionals" on the commission, the 56-year-old said.
McCarty is seeking the Republican nomination for the commission's District 5 seat in the Aug. 21 primary against challengers Red Fyler 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.
McCarty identified numerous goals she wants to address if elected to the commission.
"The immediate issues that I've taken in, and I feel that people are very upset about is the solid waste district. We have to get that under control -- now. That's a biggie," she said.
The solid waste complaints permeate the county, while other issues tend to be isolated to some areas, McCarty said.
"If you're in the Lander area, they're upset about the museum issues. If you get outside of that area, even get to be on the other side of the county, they don't know from one side to the other what's happening, but they do understand we do have a huge solid waste issue that should've been handled a long time ago," she said. "As a county commissioner you have to take care of the infrastructure problems, but my biggest concern is, like I said, solid waste."
McCarty said she has been exploring potential solutions to complaints about the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District's operation.
"I'm talking to other commissioners around the state, and it does not seem to be a huge issue in a lot of areas. They've already been on the problem way ahead of us," she said. "So now we have different counties that ran it different ways. Some of them, they don't even handle at all. We need to go in and see what is working, what is not working, and not to reinvent the wheel. But if someone has a very good way of handling it, we need to be looking at it."
By understanding the trash operations in other areas around the state, Fremont County can improve its services, she said.
"I'm amazed at the difference in the solid waste districts in different counties, how variable it is," she said. "It's amazing the difference in it. Our outlying communities right now are suffering; they're going to suffer. The schedules will not work. It's unacceptable."
In addition to solid waste, McCarty said she plans to address other vital issues as a commissioner.
"We need to totally watch over our county assets like our county fairgrounds, county museum, of course --that's an issue there that needs looked into. But any of the county assets need to be seriously looked at," she said.
McCarty pointed to the county boards appointed by the commission as another area that needs evaluation.
"All of the appointments to the county boards, some are in very good shape, some are not," she said.
McCarty thinks the political offices need a high turnover rate.
"People do not like candidates sitting in office. They don't believe it's a career. They want new people in there," she said. "I'm a firm believer in term limits. Two terms in office is long enough for anyone."
McCarty has lived in the Lander area for 16 years. She has two adult children and a husband, Michael.
Born in Springfield, Ill., and raised in the small rural farm community of New Berlin, Ill., McCarty calls herself a "retired, successful businesswoman."
"I have a business background, skilled business management background," she said. "I've owned small businesses, and I have also worked with large accounts, being responsible for large accounts."
As a child she worked in agriculture as well as for a small trucking business before graduating high school and working as an office manager in the coal mine industry for Babcock & Wilcox Co. in Illinois.
"Over the years I made my money just by hard work and getting down to business, and being dedicated to solving problems and just keeping after it and working hard," she said. "I will work with common sense solutions and get down to business. I'm ready to be a full-time commissioner."
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