VIDEO: Pastor says high-frequency sound waves could keep under 30 away from Casper's downtown - Casper, WY Oil City News
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VIDEO: Pastor says high-frequency sound waves could keep under 30 away from Casper’s downtown

Casper City Council candidate Wes Connell. (City of Casper, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council began interview nine candidates to fill a vacant Ward 1 seat at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The council selected Jai-Ayla Quest after interviewing each of the nine candidates.

Each of the candidates shared some things they think Casper needs to see. Each candidate was asked to address the following questions:

  • Explain why you want to serve on the city council.
  • Describe your qualifications and how they will benefit the City of Casper.
  • How have you been following the council’s activity lately? Please explain the current issues that the city council is facing at this time.
  • Are you willing to run for re-election in 2022?
  • Tell us about your availability to serve the time commitments of council meetings and board meeting throughout the week and the month.

Candidate Wes Connell, a senior pastor at River of Life Church, said that he has only recently started to pay much attention to the specifics of what is going on with the city council, but that he has served leadership roles in many capacities that he thinks would transfer to a role on the city council.

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He said that one of the things that he has been paying attention to is discussion surrounding vandalism in downtown Casper. Some have suggested some of the vandalism has been conducted by teenagers at David Street Station, though they have not offered concrete proof of this allegation.

Connell said that he thinks Casper could consider using a product called the “Mosquito,” which he described as a technology that produces a “high-pierced sound that only people under 30 can hear.” He said deploying the mosquito in some areas could keep people under 30 away from specific areas at specific times and that it could be shut off at other times.

Connell said that he also followed the council’s discussion about a fencing project at Morad Park to protect neighboring wetland habitat. He said he thinks the decision to approve the fencing project seemed pragmatic to him.

As to why he wants to join the council, Connell said: “It is kind of a wild adventure in some ways.”

He said that he has been serving as a pastor in Casper for 22 years and that he and his church community consider Casper home. Connell said he therefore wants a voice in what is happening in Casper.

Connell said he would help offer “common-sense solutions for whatever particular issues that are in front of us.”

“As a creative person, I tend to think outside the box,” he continued, adding that he would like to encourage the city council to think of creative solutions to problems.

Connell said he would like to help “build bridges between various people groups” and help people find common ground. He added that stewardship is important to him.

He said that he thinks he would be able to represent a variety of different people in Casper well.

“I’m a white guy,” Connell said. “I’m older … can we represent people that are different than us? I think we can.”

Connell said he has raised four sons, with his youngest now a senior at Kelly Walsh High School. He has participated on various school functions over the years.

His work as a leader in the faith community has led him to work with a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Connell said that his philosophy on problem solving is to try to come up with “triple-wins.” Those are solutions that benefit not only two people trying to work out a problem but also the community as a whole.

He said that he thinks he brings a “strong sense of morals and values” and that this would be beneficial in his role on the city council. Connell added that he is a professional artist and would bring a sense of creativity and experience in design to the council.

Connell said he would be open to thinking about running in 2022 and that he sees no problems meeting the time commitments of the city council.

The full list of the nine candidates who were interviewed Tuesday for the vacant Ward 1 seat were as follows:

  • Dennis Rollins 
    • Independent film and television producer
  • Jacqueline Anderson
  • Kimberly Holloway
  • Zarryn Hinchen
    • Founder of Artemisia Dining
    • Butcher at Brattis Meat Market
    • Former kitchen consultant at Wyoming Food for Thought Project
    •  Application & Résumé
  • Wes Connell
    • Senior pastor at River of Life Church
    • Director of Cascade Coffee Shop
    • Owner of NeXus Design Group
    • Professional life coach 
    • Application & Résumé
  • David Hulshizer
  • Shannon O’Quinn
  • Jai-Ayla Quest
    • Program specialist for the Mass Violence and Atrocities Program at the Stanley Center for Peace and Security
    • Mother of three-year-old twins
    • Application & Résumé 
  • John Minchow
    • Employer listed as Rocky Mountain Power – Dave Johnston Power Plant
    • Application

The candidate interviews can be streamed via the City of Casper’s YouTube channel: