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'I've got work to finish,' says Thompson in bid for fourth commission term
Aug 16, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer
When asked why he is seeking his fourth consecutive term on the Fremont County Commission, board chairman Doug Thompson simply stated: "I've got work to finish. We have some pretty significant challenges for the future, one being funding. A second one is the possible impact to jobs and our economy from these federal plans, and (another is) the solid waste situation."
Thompson's 12 years of experience on the board are vital to addressing the challenges he identified, he said.
"I believe proven experience is going to be necessary to navigate those challenges successfully," the 64-year-old Jeffrey City area rancher said.
Thompson is seeking the Republican nomination for the commission's District 5 seat in the Aug. 21 primary against challengers Jennifer McCarty and Red Fyler.
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.
"I'm not just running a cosmetic campaign of signs and brochures and ads. I have specific solutions and strategies to address those problems as well as the many problems I know that will crop up throughout the year and throughout another term," he said. "Specifically on these solutions, I believe that with coordinated local cooperation and strategies we can have a better
solution to the transfer station situation."
Thompson is the new liaison to the solid waste district board, replacing commission vice chairman Pat Hickerson in the position.
"Through better fiscal management, I believe we have the opportunity to either reduce or eliminate the tipping fees and live within the three-mill levy," he said.
"We're going to have to do something better in Atlantic City because bears are now coming down into people's trash they are holding for once- or twice-a-month pickup. We may have to have accelerated transfer station dumping, monitored locally, during summertime, especially in Atlantic City," he said. "It's not a one size fits all."
Thompson also is monitoring the county's budget issues.
"With the budgeting, it's important to have experience with each of those entities to know their history, to know what their concerns are, to maybe craft solutions that are, I guess, experiential," he said. "In other words, we know what they do and how they do -- or I do because of my 12 years of experience. You can budget a lot better when you know how they do and what they do."
Thompson addressed the county's role in the federal planning revisions for the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
"I've got a very strong background in those processes, and I have strong networking relationships regionally, nationally and, of course, at the state level to influence as much as we can those federal planning processes," he said. "I would match my record and defense of the economy with anyone now or who has run or anyone in the future."
His top goal in office for the next term if elected involves "successful implementation of the BLM resource management plan," he said.
Other goals include improving communications between department leaders and the commission and solidifying plans for new infrastructure and maintenance projects.
"I think we need to make sure we, even in declining revenues, maintain our roads to the fullest extent possible to keep them from becoming a total reconstruct," Thompson said.
He also weighed in on the issue of Lander's Pioneer Museum director Carol Thiesse.
"There's some personnel situations that it takes an understanding of the capacity of a commissioner to do that, or a propriety to do that, not just a slash-and-burn but recognizing statutory requirements and a propriety of dealing with boards. And I have that experience," he said.
Thompson also serves on the nationally recognized Sage Grouse Implementation Team under Gov. Matt Mead's administration.
"I have tried to place myself in not only county commission venues but federal venues and state relationships to maximize the benefit to Fremont County," he said.
Thompson served on the Jeffrey City school board for 20 years and has been commission chairman for the past nine years. He serves on several boards related to the National Association of County Officials and the Wyoming County Commissioners Association.
The Riverton High School graduate earned a bachelor's degree in math and business education from the University of Washington. He has been married to his wife, Cindy, for 44 years and they have three grown children.
"I know the job. I know what's required to accomplish the task and am willing to serve for four more years to the best of my capacity, representing all of Fremont County, not just District 5," Thompson said.