Sep 7, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff WriterFremont County Commission District 2 Republican hopeful Larry Allen said the solid waste district must pay attention to complaints from the public as a way to resolve problems at its trash transfer sites.
"I think the solid waste board needs to listen to the constituents, to the people," Allen said. "I know they have a problem with how they are going to pay for the closing of the solid waste facilities here in a few years, but they also have to listen to what the people need. They can't just tell them they're going to shut down and work on the schedule; that doesn't work for most people."
The 56-year-old is seeking Republican Party's nomination for the seat in District 2, which spans north Fremont County, over incumbent Dennis Christensen in the special mail-ballot election that ends Sept. 11.
The winner will advance to the Nov. 6 general election without any opposition. An error involving 30 voters who should not have cast ballots in the contest resulted in the special election. Christensen led Allen by 20 votes in the primary election.
Allen, a 28-year employee of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission who operates a ranch near Lost Cabin, said he would work toward a solution on the solid waste district's transfer station challenges.
"I would hope that they would work out an amicable agreement, a solution between the board and the county and the people," he said. "There are people that are just so upset about it, that the board didn't consider what the people want too."
He said he wants to see more public meetings by the solid waste district so it can improve its management plan for the sites.
"I would recommend the board sit down and hold more meetings in the areas where we're dealing with the solid waste and listen to the people, what they have to say," he said. "When we had our meeting out in Lysite and Shoshoni, the people there representing the solid waste board, they didn't take any notes. ... I guess my thought is they shouldn't forget who is really paying the bill."
Allen also wants to see better consideration of the rural areas by the commission.
"I think essentially rural residents, they deserve what's good for the bigger communities, the bigger, more-populated areas of the whole county," he said. "The District 2 members ought to be entitled to the same services."
Allen said he plans to speak regularly with the District 2 constituents to learn about their concerns.
"I plan to meet, to have meetings and go to Dubois for instance," he said. "I've talked to a lot of people, and they all want representation in the outlying areas. I hope to set up a deal where I could meet with them (on a regular basis)."
Allen said he doesn't think any actions by the commission have been failures over the past two years.
"I shouldn't say they're failures," he said. "I just think there are a lot of concerns: representation for the rural areas, the solid waste deal. I think they should've maybe studied it a little bit before they just stepped out and voted for transfer stations to put them in schedules."
Allen said he wants to study the county's spending plan in the next two years to understand its components.
"If you're not dealing with the budget on a regular basis, you don't know what all the line items are, what the road and bridge maintenance costs are," he said. "It's easy to look at the budget and discuss the budget, what you would like to do. But until you get into office and get down to the brass tacks of it, it would be hard to say to cut this and cut hard."
Employee health insurance is an area he wants to address.
"The county employees, they deserve the best health insurance coverage they could possibly get," he said.
Allen said he wants to be a leader on the commission for constituents in District 2 and other areas in the county.
"That's my goal is to represent the outlying areas and all the people," he said. "They're the ones who elect me."
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