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Candidate Questionnaire: Terry Wingerter for Natrona County Commission

Terry Wingerter is running for a four-year seat on the Natrona County Commission. (Courtesy Terry Wingerter)

CASPER, Wyo. — Election season is underway and Oil City News has sent a list of questions to each candidate seeking office in Natrona County who has filed to run in the primary election in August.

These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. Below, get to know Terry Wingerter, who is running for a four-year seat on the Natrona County Commission:

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

My name is Terry Wingerter and I have lived in Casper, Wyoming, since 4 years of age. I am retired. My hobbies are volunteering as much as I can around the community including driving for Meals on Wheels up to three times a week. I am currently in the Kiwanis Club, serving on the board, and have been a member for 25 years and have worked on numerous projects sponsored by the club. I am also on boards such as Casper City Planning and Zoning, and Skyline Towers. All of my adult life I have volunteered for various civic projects and numerous community undertakings.

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

I am running for a four-year county commissioner seat. The property tax issue is a big concern currently in the county. I have always had a great interest in local city and county government, One-Cent Projects and at the present time I have been attending Natrona County Commissioner meetings. There have been issues over the last few years that I have been very concerned over and needed more information such as the wind towers around the vicinity near Ormsby Road, in how they affected the neighborhood and airport landing paths. When the airport board and County Planning & Zoning Board voted against these wind towers, the current county commissioners didn’t listen to these boards and voted for the wind towers. I am also very concerned about the availability of air travel in and out of Natrona County. I believe the commissioners need to be more transparent with some of their decisions to the public.

3. How do you plan on accomplishing your goals? 

I am and have always been a people person and a good listener. I want to make sure there is more input from the people to the commission and more transparency from the commission to the public. I want to work through and with the legislature to discuss the property tax issue. I recently attended a revenue committee meeting on June 27 that held a round-table discussion dealing with how to assist in management of the property tax escalation issue. I plan to work with our legislators to find a solution to deal with these inconsistent statewide tax issues for the property owners. There were options proposed which is a good start that were prepared by Representative Simpson and Senator Dockstader. I intend to work on this issue. I have talked with a multitude of people who are unhappy with the current appeal process for their property taxes. This is a statewide issue and the number-one issue in Natrona County. And to the everyday issues; whether it is the mountain, roads, bridges or park, I will always work my hardest to get solutions done for the people of the county.

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

I was on the Casper City Council for eight years and a Natrona County Commissioner for 20 years. I have served on most of the boards in the city and county governments and have been involved in many projects such as the Annex building out at the Fairgrounds, the current Townsend Justice Center, the county detention center and a variety of other projects. Government and civic activities have always been my passion since I was in Boy Scouts. I was on the commission when we promoted the fire district with the county fire department. I also went out one day with some of the county fire crew to talk to the rural residents about voting for the issue to proceed with a special district in the county fire department.

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

Yes, I know I could because I have with my past experience. I believe public monies should be treated as a precious resource and that those monies should be conserved. My primary lifelong jobs were in commission sales at KTWO Radio and an Account Executive for Wyoming Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I know how to budget because I have worked with the city and county officials on several budgets in good times and tight times. I have been involved with 28 years of input on budgets.

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? 

Of course I am all for transparency as I stated before. You are an elected official and you work for the public. Other than dealing with legal or personnel concerns, there should be complete openness.

7. 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 no, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?

I will insist on being a public servant to represent the people and they have the right to know what is going on when conducting public business. I have the time and experience to listen to anyone’s concerns and will always be available to help.

8. If you were 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? 

If appropriate, I would ask during the meeting. If not, I would seek more information after the meeting. Each situation is different. There are times when you need information that is not available at that time and more research is necessary.

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

If there was a policy issue and my opinion was not part of the majority, I would make sure my voice was heard when the commissioners addressed the issue. I would like to see more cooperation between the six municipalities and the county. Some projects are spread out in a lengthy time, such as the picnic shelter and the Nordic center, and should be completed in a timely manner. The county roads are always an important issue and should always be properly maintained. County employees should always be adequately paid. Our Health Department has done an outstanding job in the past few years dealing with COVID and it has become apparent that they need a larger building. Natrona County has well-trained deputies that keep our citizens, old and young, safe.

10. Is there anything the above questions didn’t ask that you would like to comment on? 

NOTE: All primary candidates who filed to run for the Natrona County Commission were sent questionnaires at the same time and Oil City News will publish responses in the order they are received. Candidate responses are only edited for clarity and style.

If you are a candidate and did not see the questionnaire in your inbox, please email news@oilcity.news. Oil City News sent questionnaires to Natrona County candidates running in the primary for municipal, county office or a seat in the Wyoming Legislature based on email addresses shared by the Natrona County Clerk’s Office; if you would prefer the questionnaire sent to a different address, please let us know.