CASPER, Wyo. — Woody Warren is running for a Ward III seat on the Casper City Council and made the decision based on what he has seen in council meetings over the last seven months.
He says that in watching the meetings, “it seemed that the council was no longer speaking for their community. Lately, it seems like the city has their own agenda on how they think the city should be run, without consulting the people that they serve.”
“To be completely honest, if I liked any of their recent decisions, I
probably wouldn’t be running for city council,” Warren said in an email to Oil City in response to a question about which recent council decisions or projects he supports.
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Warren pointed to the council’s discussion surrounding a new ordinance which aims to provide protections for renters dealing with unsafe, unsanitary conditions at the properties they rent.
He noted that the proposed ordinance originally would have applied to both private property owners and to renter-tenant situations. The council amended the proposal such that it only applies in renter-tenant situations and that people would not be subject to the provisions of the ordinance on properties they occupy themselves.
“Yes, [the inclusion of private property owners in the ordinance] did get removed by the third reading, but the council’s willingness to impose
these ordinances on private property owners was truly disturbing,” Warren said. “It was only through the work of the citizens of the city, getting
together and letting their voice be heard [that the ordinance was amended].”
Warren said that with the community facing a tough economic outlook, “prioritization of available funds is going to be key.”
“My vision is a reduced government footprint in the City of Casper,” he said.
“We need to take a look at suffocating ordinances that are prohibiting
new businesses from coming in, to helping the small business survive.”
“The voice of the city needs to be heard again. In my 20 years in
retail (13 of them here in Casper), I learned that in order to be
successful, you need to listen to your people. They are your best idea
generators. Having open, honest conversations with each other is the
only way that we can progress as a community.”
Warren said he questions why the city is discussing a project to add signs across Casper during a time when city employees are facing mandatory furloughs. Installing 185 “Wayfinding” signs across Casper would have an estimated cost of $1.44 million under the plan prepared by the Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
During a July 17 work session, the city council indicated that they would like to see city staff move forward and put together a request for proposals to see whether the price of the project could be significantly decreased by working with a local sign company.
“This is only one of many examples on how this council has not prioritized the main issues of our city in these tough economic times,” Warren said.
Warren said he has lived in Wyoming for 31 years and has been in Casper for 13 of those years.
“My children have grown up in this community, and love it here,” he added. “This community is capable of great things, and we need people willing to go to bat for them. We are truly better together.”
“We need to focus on bringing more business and more opportunity to the
City of Casper.”
Candidates chosen to serve on the Casper City Council are elected to four year terms. Warren is running for the one seat available in Ward III. Candidates for the contests in each of Casper’s three wards are as follows (links to Oil City’s coverage of each of the candidates will be added as we complete those):
- Ward I (Two seats available)
- Ward II (Two seats available)
- Ward III (one seat available)
- Steve Cathey (incumbent)
- Michael H. Mcintosh
- Woody Warren
NOTE: Oil City has reached out to all city council candidates via email. We will provide profiles of each of the candidates in the order that we receive their responses.