5 to 3 Commissioners question goes to voters May 8th
by Pinedale Online!
April 30, 2012
On May 8th, Sublette County will hold a second special election for the voters to decide the question of how many commissioners Sublette County should have, 3 or 5?
A petition was circulated in 2011 by citizens who wish to see the number of commissioners raised from the current three to five. That signature drive obtained enough signatures to cause a special election on the question, which was held in August, 2011. The proposal passed.
Then in 2012, another citizen began another petition in the county to obtain signatures to decrease the number of commissioners back to 3. That petition also obtained enough legal signatures to cause a special election, which will be held on May 8th, 2012. Several citizens have questioned the legality of having a second election before the first petition had a chance to have their election, but the Sublette County Attorney issued a statement that "there is no direct prohibition against a petition and proposition to revert back to 3 commissioners prior to actually filling the two vacant offices that were created by the last special election." Concerned citizens who have asked for an investigation into the legality of the process received responses from the Sublette County Sheriffís Office that no wrongdoing or illegal activity was found. To date no legal challenge has been brought forward challenging the election, and the May 8th election is scheduled to take place.
Pinedale Online has posted many articles on this topic. In 2011 we posted an article for the "3 to 5" side from Paul Rock, who organized the original petition drive. The letter below is from Paul Johnson, who originated the "5 back to 3" petition for a second election, giving his thoughts on the question. See the related links at the end of this article to read more stories following this issue from when it first began in the spring of 2011. See the local newspapers for more comments from those who support and oppose the question.
The special election will be held on Tuesday, May 8th to decide the question once and for all. For those who will not be present to vote in person on election day, they can contact the Sublette County Courthouse and ask for an absentee ballot so they get their vote in to help decide this matter. Registered voters can also go to the courthouse in Pinedale now and get a ballot and vote early, until the day before the election, if they will be gone from their usual polling place on May 8th.
Stay at 3
By Paul Johnson
To whom it may Concern;
Iíve worked in Sublette County now for 7 of the last 11 years. It is a beautiful place and Iím fortunate to have been able to move here last spring. I really love this area. Before I moved I was against going to 5 County Commissioners when it came up for a vote. Now that I here and heard about the petition to stay at 3 I helped by picking up the petitions from the county clerkís office. Thatís when my name started to get tossed around. Which I didnít mind one bit.
Why do we need 5 commissioners? No one has given me a single answer. I will tell you this; Orange County California has a population of 3,018,963 with 5 County Supervisors, thatís what they call them. Now Sublette County Wyoming has a population of 10,247. Both numbers are from the U.S. 2010 Census. Orange County has the dubious distinction of being the only county in the history of the U.S. to be forced into Bankruptcy due to miss-management of funds. Again, why do we need 5 commissioners?
Now in the Pinedale Anticline, all the operators are shutting down all theyíre completion work. Meaning they are not going after any more natural gas. Some are diverting theyíre drilling rigs to more profitable are. So no more drilling. The Boom has Busted!!!
That means the county royalty checks to the county are going to stay the same or go down. At $1.90 per 1,000 BTUís of gas and operating cost of $3.00 plus, well itís more cost effective to go drill for oil at $100.00 per barrel.
Donít get me wrong, when gas comes up to $4.00 Iím positive the operators will start completing again and bring the drilling rigs back. But not like it was.
Look at our federal government, how big and how much they are in debt. I donít want to see Sublette County go by the way of Orange County either. We donít need 5 Commissioners. Itís not just 2 people weíre talking about. What about their office assistants, county cars, health insurance, cell phones, travel expenses? Oh yes, travel to other counties to see how they do things. How much is that going to cost the citizens of Sublette County?
Yes I know Orange County, I grew up there. I will never live in California again because of their politics and how they manage money. The state is about ready to go bankrupted.
I love Pinedale, Sublette County and Wyoming itís a beautiful place. Iíve found my nitch in life and am going to live my life out here!
Letís stay at 3 County Commissioners! Get out and vote May 8th!!!!!! Either way I will still do what I can for the county.
The "Elusive" Paul Johnson
p.s. I love that, thank you to who ever said that in the Round Up.
Sheriffís Office responds to 5 to 3 complaint Pinedale Online, April 16, 2012
Sublette County Sheriffís Office response to complaint about 5 to 3 petition April 16, 2012 (PDF)
5 to 3 petition deadline draws near for signatures Pinedale Online, February 17, 2012
www.erniekawa.com Ernie Kawaís comments opposed to the 5 to 3 question (Editorís note: Mr. Kawa has announced his candidacy for Sublette County Commissioner in the upcoming election)
Petition seeks return to three-member commission Sublette Examiner, November 14, 2011
Petition to decrease the Commissioners from 5 to 3 Pinedale Online, November 10, 2011
Sublette County to go from 3 to 5 Commissioners Pinedale Online, August 16, 2011
Sublette County Commissioners: Stay at 3? Go to 5? Pinedale Online, August 15, 2011 - KPIN Audio files
Sublette County Attorney responds to legality of 5 to 3 petition
Three commissioners or five? By Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online, May 20, 2011
Option of five commissioners to be on August ballot By Megan Rawlins, Pinedale Roundup, May 19, 2011
The cost of adding more County Commissioners By Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online, March 29, 2011