Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Pine Bluffs candidates look to help council keep moving forward

 

Charlene Smith

Pine Bluffs is a great example of a community of respect and friendliness. All of the candidates for the 2013 Pine Bluffs council and mayoral election commented Pine Bluffs is a welcoming town. The issues facing Pine Bluffs might not loom as welcoming as the residents, but are still manageable.

The water project the council contracted with 6th Penny tax funds has hit some unexpected hiccups. But just as the irritating gulps of air recede, the water project will improve service to the town and in the process make future projects involving water not as cumbersome.

Pine Bluffs residents will be asked to cast their vote May 7, for mayor and two seats on the council. Candidates for mayor include incumbent Bill Shain and Stephen Miller.

Shain is a local business owner and veterinarian in Pine Bluffs, a long time resident, and a one-term incumbent. He was unavailable for comment.

Miller moved here in the fall of 2011 and has an extensive background in business and contract work. He is retired military and likes the quiet, friendly community of Pine Bluffs and the low crime rate.

“It makes the councils job easy,” said Miller.

He added he would be proud to serve the community as its mayor. Some community members approached Miller about running for the mayoral seat.

“I know you cannot please everyone but you can negotiate with the community to find a better way,” Miller said.

The council needs to fill two seats in a four-year term. Candidates include incumbents Alan Curtis and Mark Fornstrom along side Donald Herman, Lowell Klassy, Charles Radcliff and John Wise.

Curtis enjoyed representing Pine Bluffs and thinks his first term as councilman was a productive learning process. He has a sense of pride in his community of Pine Bluffs and his focus in the next four years would be affordable services to the residents.

“Water and electric bills need to stay in a range of affordability for our consumers and I hope to give more time to that issue,” explained Curtis. The other main topic on his agenda is the completion of the water project.

“I like the direction the water project is going and look forward to seeing its completion and water service improved for all of the residents,” smiled Curtis.

Fornstrom is very proud of the 6th Penny tax projects completed which included improvements to the day care and the community center in his first term as councilman. Fornstrom echoed Curtis’ hope for the water project and would like to leap-frog off his first term into moving Pine Bluffs forward in numerous projects.

“I would like to continue to move forward with the knowledge that I gained in my first term,” explained Fornstrom. “I now am better equipped to make decisions for the town and serve. The first term is a learning process and would like to use what I have learned to move Pine Bluffs forward.” Fornstrom has much buy-in to the existing projects and would like to see the completion of the water project.

Herman was born and raised in Pine Bluffs and left briefly only to return eight years later. He is aware of a growing need for better communication between the the residents and the council.

“I talked to a lot of people and they were not happy with being billed a month and a half for their electric bill,” sighed Herman. “That hurt a lot of people.”

He sees a lot of inconsistency coming from the council.

“Some people are told they need to fence in their property and others get by without having to fence in,” said Herman. “Those two issues primarily got me to run.”

Herman feels the inconsistency and lack of communication are the main issues negatively affecting the council. Herman would also like to attract more businesses to Pine Bluffs by “changing regulations or doing whatever is necessary.”

Klassy thought “maybe my input would be helpful.” Klassy had been on the Pine Bluffs Fire Board in the past, and has resided in Pine Bluffs since 1991. He likes the direction the council is going now and would like to help keep things going”

“I enjoy living in Pine Bluffs and think it’s full of great people,” Klassy said. “I would like to focus on cleaning up the town. It seems some people have just let their property go.”

Radcliff is retired military and has been a member of the community since 2006. Prior to his retirement he worked for the Wyoming Energy Council as their field manager for 15 years, and “wore many hats at the council.” Radcliff likes helping people, “and not just veterans but handicapped seniors and all who need it.” He added he “is not done serving my country yet.”

Charlene Smith

“I believe in God, my country and the American flag,” said Radcliff. He is the post commander for the Louise E. Canady American Legion Post 60 and helps with numerous community projects including Operation Christmas Basket and Meals on Wheels. Radcliff would like to bring more business to Pine Bluffs but his main focus is helping people. His agenda items include improving the streets and bringing in business.

Wise said “quite a few community members” had asked him to run for council. He believes “a lot of waste is going on in local government” and he would like to see more transparency in government and shrink local government. Wise said he had no agenda except to make Pine Bluffs more business and people friendly. He is a constitutionalist and feels the community “know me pretty well.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 7 at the Pine Bluffs Community Center.

 

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