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City of Gillette Candidate Questionnaire: Ed Sisti for Ward 3

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 Ed Sisti who is running for a spot on the Gillette City Council as a representative of Ward 3:

  1. Who are you? 

To introduce myself, I am Ed Sisti, and I am running for Ward 3 of Gillette City Council.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Valley Forge. I have lived in the City of Gillette since 2005 with my wife Susan and we have two children that live in Arizona and eight grandchildren. Susan and I have enjoyed the unique way of life that our community affords. We love Gillette!

For the first 20 years of my life, I grew up in Trenton, NJ, where I learned at a young age that our government does not always properly represent its citizens but rather its own interests.  High taxes caused NJ citizens to work long hours and pay high taxes that prevented citizens from enjoying their lives and what they had earned.  I don’t want to see this happen in Gillette.

I am presently employed as the Pastor of Open Door Church. I have had the opportunity to address and advocate for the needs of many in our community in various ways.

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

Seeing the apparent need for accountability, transparency, and integrity in our City Government, I will be the voice and vote that will accurately represent the concerns of the citizens of Ward 3 that they desire to express to their City Government.

Most citizens would welcome an environment where small and large business would thrive.  It would be through a combination of lower City budgets and lower utility fees that would subsequently create a local haven for business and their employees.

3. How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?

Listening to all the citizens of Ward 3 and by voting according to their expressed desires will be my number one priority. This would be accomplished by being accessible and available to any of my constituents.

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

Without a doubt, pastoring a church in Gillette has given me the experience for any issues that may come up.  Also, being on non-profit boards in the community is a great plus in meeting and identifying the needs of the community.

I have attended may City Council meetings and have made public comment that has been acted upon by City Council.  I follow the Council in news media continuously.

5. Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?

Yes!  Understanding, as I do, that ½ of the assessed valuation of Campbell County comes from the energy industry and the recent assault on the energy industry causes me great concern.  We must exercise good stewardship with every dollar.  New revenue for the City of Gillette must come from new businesses being attracted to our area.  City budgets must be trimmed and gone through with a “fine toothed comb”.  Our utilities must be constantly examined and kept low to help us weather the coming funding challenges.

6. 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 would make sure that the Open Meeting Laws are followed and that public attendance at City Council Meetings is encouraged.  Public comment should be valued and championed by each member of Gillette City Council.

7b. 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?

I believe that our City Council is trying to be open and transparent since recent text messages between the former Mayor and the former City Administrator have been released about past abuses to Open Meeting Laws in past years.

8. 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 would ask during the meeting!  In that case the public would witness that I am endeavoring to understand the issues that would ultimately affect the people that I represent. Asking after the meeting would be inappropriate and not in line with being a transparent member of City Council.

9. Should you be elected, or re-elected, do you plan on seeking any major policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If no, why not?

Yes.  1. All proposed expenditures must be put under the microscope and passed “on a need, not want basis”.   2. We must make sure all city business is done publicly except when and only when state statute calls for executive session.  3. Advanced notice must be given for major expenses to the public.

10. 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”?

There is no doubt that sports tourism has had a positive impact on Gillette’s economy.  What is needed now is good analysis of the funds that the Energy Capital Sports Complex is producing and the maintenance costs of the Splash Pad vs. the revenue that it brings in.

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

It is evident that future economic downturns are coming.  To prepare for them we must keep taxes low and have fewer regulations so we can attract new business without overtaxing current businesses and citizens.  The bottom line must be to curb all unnecessary spending by exercising fiscal responsibility.