City Council Candidate Responses: Do you have time to serve on the council?

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(Gillette, Wyo.) There are eight candidates running for city council in contested races.

There are three candidates for mayor. There are also four candidates in two races for Ward I council positions. Why are there two races for Ward I? There are three wards in Gillette, with two councilors in each ward. Kevin McGrath resigned from his Ward I position, and the council appointed Shawn Neary to that Ward I position. It has two years remaining, and Bruce Brown and Darin Edmonds are running for that spot. The second Ward I council position is also up for election for a four-year term. Shawn Neary and Terry Sjolin are vying for that spot on the council.

Incumbents Tim Carsrud and Robin Kuntz in Ward II and Ward III are also up for election, but their races are unchallenged.

As part of our goal here at County 17 of informing voters for the upcoming primaries, we are sending out unique questions for each race to let voters get a better understanding of who the candidates are.

We’ll be posting answers from the councilor candidates through today and the weekend. Here’s previous responses:

Being a Gillette City Councilor takes a lot of time. How do you plan to balance the time requirements with your own career or life? (limit 300 words)

Mayoral Candidate Louise Carter-King

In addition to our regular meetings with Council and staff, I have found out in the last four years the Mayor is required to be available every day to meet with the council, constituents, other elected officials and visitors.  The mayor is asked to cut ribbons, welcome conventions, and speak at various functions on weekdays, nights and weekends.

The mayor is also expected to visit with the Governor, Secretary of State, and other state officials in Cheyenne.  There are also Saturday morning meetings with surrounding communities, as members of our NEWY group.  The Mayor is also required to give numerous interviews for local, state, national, and international news organizations.

I believe the Mayor is the ambassador for the city and I have been honored to serve as Mayor of Gillette.  I  have been able to make time for all the duties that it entails. It would be a privilege and an honor to serve another 4 years.

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Mayoral Candidate Jarik Dudley

Our municipal government is set up to be a citizen government. One of the main reasons we have a city administrator, is to conduct business on the people’s behalf and it helps facilitate a working class government. I believe I will be able to manage my time accordingly.

Mayoral Candidate Robert Kaczmarek

If elected my time would be more the undertaking of my job as Mayor, I am fully retired and a balance of time would be figured out while in office, for I am not working for any one and my mind is of what is best for the citizens of Gillette.


Ward I (2-year) Councilor Candidate Bruce Brown

This position is an elected position and as such those who are elected have been entrusted by the voters to do the job. If I am fortunate enough to be elected I will do the job to the best of my ability and will put in the time to be well informed on the issues that come before the council. Personally, I find it irresponsible to accept a position and not spend the time necessary to be an informed member.

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I currently serve on the Wyoming Community College Commission. I will go off the commission in March which will free up a significant amount of time.

The nice thing about being self employed is I can set my schedule around the time required as a councilman. My children are grown adults with families of their own. My family obligations are much less than that of a person who still has kids at home.

I operate best when I am busy and keeping up with the issues that come before the council will keep me busy. I take this responsibility seriously and will only keep one other volunteer position as treasurer of the Campbell County United Way. I look forward to this challenge and the opportunity to learn and grow as a Gillette City Councilman.

Ward I (2-year) Councilor Candidate Darin Edmonds

Being a councilor will undoubtedly take a lot of time. Given my experience with the Cemetery District, I am responsible for informing a board of 6 elected officials on all of the issues and operations of the day, all the time, and at any time.  This requires me to be ultra-informed at all times, as they rely on me for all the answers.  Managing the day-to-day operations gives me the experience of knowing how to manage and prepare information so that others can make well-informed and accurate decisions.  As a councilor, I will know how to prepare fully for any and all discussions, and more importantly, how to extract the information that is needed for discussion, and decision-making. As I stated earlier, I have the skills to be City Councilman, I am simply asking for the opportunity, and your trust.


Ward I (4-year) Councilor Candidate Terry Sjolin

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As much time as I think it’s going to take, I am sure it is going to take even more. When I made the decision to run for office the first time and as well as this time, I knew I had to make it a priority in my life if I was going to do the job the office deserves. Being involved in the community means making sacrifices and setting priorities. I am eager to spend the time and effort I know the job will demand and to learn all I can. Not just attending meetings and community events, but by being accessible to the public for comments and concerns. I am confident I can balance my work life, volunteer life and home life and be the best Councilman I can be.

Ward I (4-year) Councilor Candidate Shawn Neary

It does take additional time.  All the time management skills like being organized, focused, disciplined, and setting priorities help to try to find a balance.

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at kevin@county17.com or 701-641-6603.