Dan Dockstader – re-election Senate District 16
Jim Roscoe – re-election in House District 22
Bill Winney – House District 22
Andy Schwartz – re-election in House District 23
Mike Yin – re-election in House District 16
Candidate for HD 22 Bill Winney did not submit a questionnaire.What are your top three priorities if elected?
Dan Dockstader: Two main points: A strong economy with adequate employment.
- Maintaining and protecting our public land is still my top priority. That goes along with securing access to these lands. There have been efforts in the past to privatize and sell off some of these public lands which would be a disaster for Wyoming in the long run.
- Maintaining funding for public education. That will be a challenge with the radical downturn in Wyoming’s revenue stream. I’m on the Revenue Committee which just met a few weeks ago. Of the five suggested bills or ideas to generate revenue, none got enough votes to become committee bills. Wyoming should be proud of what it has accomplished with our education. It would be foolish to have it go down hill.
- Expanding broadband and bringing the internet to all parts of the state is really important. If Wyoming is to attract new business and young people with innovative ideas we need to have better access to the internet.
Andy Schwartz: Manage budget cuts, create new revenue streams, keep K-12 program strong.
Mike Yin: Deal with our fiscal crisis. Ensure we keep our strong educational system. Provide for more local options.
What is your stance on the State of Wyoming selling state trust lands for development in Teton County?
Dan Dockstader: Are there opportunities for specific land sales that would help adquetly fund education?
Jim Roscoe: I’m against it. I’ve talked to The JH Land Trust, other conservation organizations and land owners abutting the large State school section on the Village Road. I don’t know the answer to this one. Wyoming by law has to provide the best long term financial gain from these state sections for our schools. This problem came about as the land values in Teton County skyrocketed. It would be a big lift for the JH Land trust to raise enough money to be able to put a conservation easement on it. Maybe a portion could be used for affordable housing. I’m on the WWNRT which spends the money generated by the Wildlife Trust. Maybe they could help with a portion.
Andy Schwartz: The State has the fiduciary responsibility to use state trust lands to gain optimal revenue for schools. I am committed to making sure that the uses proposed will conform to the goals and objectives of the Teton County Master Plan and that local governments and organizations are involved in the process
Mike Yin: Bad idea.
Our community is overwhelmingly against intrusive helicopter tours coming to Jackson Hole, and we’ve fought this fight before. Now, helicopters are disturbing our cherished public lands. What could we do to make sure helicopter tours are gone for good on a state or national level?
Dan Dockstader: I haven’t followed the helicopter issue close enough to offer an informed opinion at this point.
Jim Roscoe: That’s a federal issue. I’m against helicopter tours! I think an argument could be made about the detriment to our world famous wildlife and the negative effect it could have on our tourist economy because it distracts from what I think or hope most people come here for.
Andy Schwartz: My understanding is that the first step is to work with FAA to revise their rules and regulations on this subject.
Mike Yin: I’m interested in empowering local communities to decide their own fate. Unfortunately the Federal government has completely preempted state and local control in this situation, so I think the most effective method is public pressure in this case. However, our national delegation could do something about this if they so desired.
COVID-19 is taking a toll on our community and shining a light on many social issues (like food insecurity and evictions) that the pandemic exacerbates. What policies would you adopt to ensure public health and safety is a priority?
Dan Dockstader: Each community and county can face these decisions based on their own active case counts. For example at this writing, Teton County has 30 active Covid cases, while has Lincoln 9 and Sublette 1.
Jim Roscoe: The CARES Act has been a big help for renters and unemployment benefits. As a state Legislator maybe just trying to raise revenue so we don’t have to cut the programs we already have. The Governors first round of 10% cuts took $90 million from the Dept. of Health which will affect mental health, family services and more. The Governor really doesn’t have much of a choice because the Legislature has not raised revenues.
Andy Schwartz: The first priority is to make sure adequate CARES funding is allocated for testing, contact tracing and PPE.
Mike Yin: One of the biggest issues that was highlighted in this crisis is one of childcare. Expecting our families to go back to work, but not having any opportunities for childcare asked each of our families to make a sacrifice in some form or another. This is a responsibility that our entire community should help with and one that our entire state should help everyone with.
What is the right relationship between local, Town, County, and State government? Specifically, how much independence should local governments have on issues like housing mitigation requirements? How would you advance your perspective in Cheyenne?
Dan Dockstader: For years I have been an advocate of assisting local government with funding in several areas. Most small communities will continue to need assistance with infrastructure. I will continue to support that, as funding programs allow. As for issues directly related to housing mitigation, few communities are experiencing the unique challenges facing Jackson, now and in the future, because of limited private lands that are available in an overall public land setting. Each case should be given careful individual consideration.
Jim Roscoe: It should never be illegal for local government to do what is best for its population. Our country has a deep and strong history of recognizing that local control is what best serves its citizens. Private property rights will be the issue that has to be worked out per individual case but Cheyenne should not be deciding local issues that have been well thought out by local elected officials and voted on by the public. The prejudice against Teton County in the Legislature does not help Teton County or the state of Wyoming.
Andy Schwartz: Planning and zoning is the purview of local governments. I will advance my perspective by working to defeat any bills that do otherwise.
Mike Yin: Like I listed in my priorities, having our community have say in our own future and fate is very important. I fought against multiple bills that targeted specifically Teton County’s control, as well as sponsored bills that would grant more options for us to handle things like our housing issues. One thing I am thinking about for the future is more flexibility with our ballot measures such as designating certain areas to be funded by penny sales tax votes rather than going into a general fund.