City of Gillette Candidate Questionnaire: Shay Lundvall for Mayor

(Shay Lundvall)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Election season is well underway and County 17 has sent a list of questions to each candidate who has filed to run for a municipal office.

These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. All candidate responses submitted to County 17 are republished as they are received.

Below, get to know Shay Lundvall who running for the office of Gillette Mayor:

  1. Who are you? (name, where you’re from, employment, hobbies, etc.)

My name is Shay Lundvall. I was born and raised in Gillette. I am the Business Development Manager for Earth Work Solutions, a local company that serves the energy and construction industries. I love traveling, spending time with my wife and two children, weight training, and hunting.

  1. Why have you decided to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

I originally ran for the City Council because I saw several missed opportunities to position Gillette for a prosperous future. Once on the Council, I learned of more profound challenges that we face stemming from an absence of leadership. I am running for Mayor because I have the experience and the vision to put Gillette back on the right track.

I plan to ensure that every tax dollar is spent responsibly. I plan to restore transparency and integrity to our government. I plan to be deliberate and proactive in supporting Gillette’s economic growth and stability. I will prioritize making Gillette to be the safest city in Wyoming. I will ensure our roads and other infrastructure are adequate and well maintained. In short, I will ensure that our local businesses and residents have the best possible services, while preparing for future growth and prosperity.

  1. How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?

I will work with the city Council to design and implement a long-term master plan for the city. This master plan will give us measurable goals for my time in office and beyond. I will do everything in my power to include the public in this process, and invite them to hold us accountable to these goals.

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  1. What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?

I first entered the workforce as a bus boy at Perkins. I’ve done hard labor as a roofer, derrickhand, and coal miner. I’ve been the Parks Supervisor for the City of Gillette. I’ve opened an architectural and engineering office. In one way or another, I have been involved with every part of a business.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

  • Gillette City Council (on second four-year term)-2017-present
  • Patient Family Advisory Council-Campbell County Health-PFAC, 2015-2017
  • Gillette Area Leadership Institute- GALI, 2013-2014 (Past President)
  • Optional 1% Tax Committee- Chamber of Commerce/City of Gillette, 2014-2015 (Past Chair)
  • Board of Directors- Gillette Chamber of Commerce, 2013-2015, Finance Committee
  • Board of Directors – American Society of Landscape Architects Rocky Mountain Chapter 2008-2012)
  • Business Network International – BNI, 2012-2013 (Past President)
  • Business Advocacy Committee- Gillette Chamber of Commerce, 2012-2013 (Past Chairman)
  • Energy Classic Basketball Committee – Energy Classic Committee, 2009-2015
  • Youth Emergency Services (Y.E.S) House Foundation Board – Y.E.S. House, 2012-2013

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Published in American Nurseryman August 2007 edition “Plant Spacing.”
  • Worked with Federal Delegation to write a bill into the Current Infrastructure Plan

Worked with State Delegation to write House Bill 123, that passed in 2022.

  • Established company as HUBZone Certified, created and developed the company’s first joint venture, which led to the first federal contract award of over $14.5 Million
  1. Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?

I have focused my time on the City Council on being a good steward. There have been many times during my tenure when I fought to ensure certain wasteful or inappropriate expenditures didn’t happen. In 2017, I proposed increasing from 60 days to 90 days of reserve funds to protect against unforeseen events. Recently, I have worked closely with City staff to ensure we have maintenance accounts for future capital expenditures and repairs. In addition, in 2017, I advocated for making sure we started a savings fund to repair Gurley Overpass when the time was right.

As mayor, I will continue to use the taxpayers’ dollars efficiently, effectively, and transparently.

  1. On the issue of transparency, where do you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?

I want transparency and want the public’s attendance. Our meetings should not just be open, but we should actively encourage the public to participate. We recently passed the final reading of our budget for 2022-2023 in the amount of $153 million with no residents present. I would prefer we have a room full of interested residents making their voices heard.

I have been working with the rest of the Council to consolidate our financial data in one system, to be accessible to the public. When this is done, anyone can look and see where tax dollars are spent.

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7b. (For new applicants seeking election) Do you believe the office or board position you seek has been open and honest with the public? If yes, how can the entity remain open and transparent when conducting public business moving forward. If not, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?

Since March 2022, we have taken several steps to ensure the city council and Mayor are open and honest with the public. Many training sessions have been conducted. These could have been done in executive sessions, but we chose to do them publicly. We have set a new standard for transparency. As new council members join, it will be imperative to ensure the training continues. It will take strong leadership to ensure we don’t slip back into complacency.

  1. If you are presiding over a meeting and a topic was being discussed that you didn’t fully understand, would you ask for a more detailed explanation during the meeting, or would you seek the information after the meeting?

I believe clarity is essential. Sometimes, a topic can have a lot of legal jargon. Sometimes you might not have all the information then, or the information you are given might have changed at the last second. So, if something is unclear or needs more information, I would ask for that during our meeting and follow up with someone after the meeting to make sure the information requested is clear. I would ensure that the public is provided with any meaningful information that arises outside of the meeting.

  1. Should you be elected or re-elected, do you plan on seeking any significant policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If not, why not?

In the past several months, I have worked with the council and interim mayor to implement most of the necessary changes. I will ask City Administrator, Council, and department leaders to identify opportunities for increased transparency and efficiency, and to report back as we develop the master plan.

  1. What impact do you feel sports tourism has on Gillette, and does that impact justify the costs of the Energy Capital Sports Complex, commonly referred to as the “Field of Dreams”?

Sports tourism could be a significant anchor for our community for years to come. I don’t think there is a citizen that doesn’t want excellent facilities for our community. I.e., Rec Center, Gillette College, Energy Sports Complex. There is a lot of cost to build and maintain excellent amenities. We must be balanced in meeting the demands of our community, including our approach to sports facilities. Our number one focus must be ensuring our core services are taken care of and well funded. From there, we should look at opportunities to facilitate growth and economic activity with sports venues.

  1. How can your community prepare for future economic downturns resulting from the volatile energy markets and a potential global shift away from coal?

Coal, oil, and gas are not going away. We do, however, know that the current President and his administration are advancing an unrealistic agenda that sacrifices baseload energy sources for renewables that simply cannot meet demand. Our community has to find ways to adapt and overcome. We have to look at ways to promote Gillette to encourage developers and businesses to want to come to Gillette. We have to create an environment where our local businesses have expansion options. Our zoning and planning regulations must be evaluated and altered, so our customers have a streamlined positive experience.

Our community will never be what I believe it can be if we sit back and wait for opportunities to come to us. Those days are gone. We have to go out and pursue them, and our mayor must lead the way.