This letter was sent to us from Mr. Dennis Fox as a copy of his letter to the editor of the Sheridan Press, and is reprinted here with is permission. The opinions expressed are his own, and not necessarily the opinions of the Sheridan County GOP.
The County Commissioner Problem 7 Sep 2023
The Sheridan County Commissioners are in a jam.
Commissioner Thompson resigned and the commissioners were to follow Wyoming law 18.3, to fill the vacancy. The law states: commissioners “shall” choose from one of the three candidates selected by the Republican Party.
The Commissioners failed to do so. They said the applicants were “unqualified” and “not supported by voters.” Both excuses are invalid. The qualifications for serving as commissioner are: adult, resident of the county.
Voters supported all three candidates in the last election. The Republican Party also supported them by majority vote. There’s nothing in the law about commissioners “judging” the applicants. All they are to do is select one of the three. They have already been “supported” and “qualified” by voters in both the election and the Republican Party.
Next, the commissioners failed to follow proper procedure under Roberts Rules. When an even number of board members are voting, the chairperson should abstain. The other three commissioners should have voted on which of the three candidates they preferred.
When three people vote, the odds are good, that the result is a two-to-one vote. Vacancy filled, problem solved.
In a three-way tie, the abstaining chairperson, then votes to break the tie. Had the commissioners used proper procedure, the vacancy would be filled.
The Board used an inappropriate “motion and second” procedure. There was no motion involved. The candidates had already been nominated by the Republican Party. All the commissioners had to do was pick one person out of three. Roberts Rules has been around for hundreds of years. They are fundamental to our Republic and known to most high school students. Why the chairwomen failed to follow proper voting procedure, is a mystery. Could they have planned to create a tie, fail at their job and intentionally throw it to a judge?
Next, each and every commissioner broke their oath of office. They swore to abide by the Wyoming Constitution and follow the law. They failed to do so.
Finally, each and every commissioner broke the Sacred Public Trust. We trusted them to use sound judgment and follow the law. They failed and the seat remains vacant.
County Commissioners have failed the people of Sheridan County, in every respect. They broke the law. They failed to follow proper procedure and they broke both their oaths and the sacred public trust.
As it stands today, a judge will decide which candidate fills the commissioner vacancy. Shouldn’t the vacancy have been filled by the commissioners, using the right procedures and following the law?
Is it too much to ask that our County Commissioners keep their oaths of office?
Please make this Right!
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