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No 'sound alternative' to Thompson, Hickerson

Oct 11, 2012 - Jennifer McCarty, Lander

Editor:

I'm supporting the re-election of Fremont County Commissioners Doug Thompson and Pat Hickerson.

Let me clarify why I'm taking that position. I will not support people who are trying to ride on the coattails of issues the primary campaigns have already addressed. The voice of the people is the point of a primary election.

I realize we must declare party affiliation in the Wyoming primaries, but if one declares they want to run as an Independent are they being truthful?

The candidates' capabilities and leadership are important, but honesty reflects trustworthiness in elected officials and that's where I want my candidate strong.

The integrity of an elected official should be their foundation and I'm not finding that quality in the two candidates running as Independents. I found inconsistencies that a true Independent should not have. This raised the first red flag in my investigation of who Kessler and Maxon are.

I found these so-called "Independent" candidates are masquerading as impartial candidates. Posturing themselves as such is deceiving and far from the truth of their past professional advocacy.

Independents may not be bound to a political party, but their fundamental allegiances will influence their decisions. I believe a person's background and affiliations are reflections of who they are. That is why we join groups and organizations.

A commentary written by Jim Hellyer was spot on in his assessment. Maxon and Kessler are environmental activists. Maxon is an attorney for the Wyoming Outdoor Council. Stephanie Kessler is the former executive director of WOC. Currently she is on staff with The Wilderness Society.

The background checks of these two "Independent" candidates took about two minutes. It revealed both who they are and what they have been involved with for many years: wilderness and environmental causes for starters. That in itself gives pause as to why the claim as Independents is controversial and insinuates deception.

This makes me wonder, are the Independents more about power accessibility and not really the advocates of the people's county concerns?

Abundant resources from our public lands provide the revenues needed to keep Fremont County fiscally sound. We have been fighting environmentalists trying to choke off our land uses for years.

Maxon and Kessler will tell you they believe in Multiple Use of Public Lands. What they won't tell you is that they define Multiple Use as recreational use only. Hickerson and Thompson define multiple use as both recreational use and resource development.

In short, electing Maxon and Kessler will jeopardize the revenue Fremont County receives from public lands and will cause our taxes to increase as a result.

We need revenue from our public lands or this county could be forced to eliminate essential services. It is critical to understand that not only the budget of our county is at stake here but county commissioners' powers can affect how we live.

We see new government regulation intrusions almost daily and we do not want our lands over zoned and prohibitions against our liberty which impede our lawful usage of our resources. To date the present commissioners have held at bay this activity against us and have not embraced intrusive limited access. I can say that given the two Independents' backgrounds it would be a very strong probability they will embrace limited land usage or worse if elected. The commissioners decisions directly affect all of us.

Maxon's press release stated he worked in industry, government and a non-profit. He also stated, as part of a pledge, to be transparent but, that press release sounds vague to me. What industry? What government and non-profit? I'd say he's not so transparent but rather evasive coming out of the gate. We do not want commissioners whose platforms lack basic transparency.

I would also venture to guess that the Maxon's and Kessler's goal of land restrictions has not progressed fast enough, and they could speed that process up if elected to the county commission.

We should not vote to replace elected officials with people whose backgrounds are clearly not "Independent."

I know we have been upset about issues with the commissioners. That was shown in the ballots cast during the primary.

This is the time we need to re-evaluate the "upset" part. Thompson and Hickerson are addressing the issues brought out during the primary campaign. You have been heard. We have seen that the commissioners are focusing on their duties. The museum issue is being addressed, and the solid waste district issues are being evaluated.

I realize we all strive for good representation. We want success and the ability to flourish and prosper. Let us not be fooled into thinking that voting for so-called "Independents" will give us Independence. Deceptions with underlying agendas are clearly afoot.

I thank the people who supported and voted for me in the primary. I strongly urge the citizens of District 4 and District 5 to not allow yourselves into being duped. Professional manipulators and shadow impostors are not what I envision as honest effective leadership.

Now, please join me in supporting the present commissioners Doug Thompson and Pat Hickerson for re-election. There is no sound alternative.

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Fremont County Commissioners