Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Six seats up on Worland City Council

 

October 29, 2020



WORLAND - There are six seats up on the Worland City Council in the upcoming general election, two each in the city's three wards.

There is a four-year and a two-year term open in Ward 1 on the council.

Scott Schaeffer is the lone candidate for the four-year seat. Schaeffer did not return the questionnaire that was sent to all candidates. Keith Gentzler opted not to see re-election.

Current council member Kenneth Shearer and Adam Martinez are vying for the two-year seat. Shearer was appointed to the council earlier this year. In the primary election, Martinez received 308 votes, Shearer 180 votes.

There are two four-year seats open in Ward 2, currently held by Mandy Horath and Kody DeMunbrun. Both incumbents are seeking to retain their seats. Wendy Fredricks and Morgan Muller have also filed for the two four-year seats.

In the primary election, Wendy Fredricks topped the ballot with 290 votes, followed by current council members Mandy Horath 195 and Kody DeMunbrun 194. Morgan Muller received 147 votes.

There are also two seats open in Ward 3, a two-year term and a four-year term.

Mike Neufer, current council member, opted to file for the two-year term currently held by Caleb Vigil. Vigil was appointed to the council and opted not to file to retain the seat. Neufer did not return the questionnaire sent to all candidates by the Northern Wyoming News. He was elected in 2016, after accepting a write-in nomination in the 2016 primary election.

Two candidates accepted write-in nominations after the primary election for the four-year Ward 3 seat - Michael Sanchez and William Worley.

Polls will be open on Nov. 3 and absentee voting is underway now.

Ward 1

Adam Martinez - 2-year seat

How long have you lived in Worland?

The youngest of eight, I was born and raised in Worland. I have never moved away except to attend college. Worland has always been home and has been a good decision to raise my own family here.

What type of work do you do?

I have been employed at RT Communications for nineteen years as a network technician.

What is your educational background?

I graduated Worland High School – class of 1989. After high school I attended Sheridan College where I obtained a degree in welding.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I come from a family who has been highly involved in our community for decades. I believe it is important to maintain active participation in the public life of a community.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

In order to be committed to the duties of a council member in a constructive manner, I know it will take time and focus. Currently, I do not have any foreseeable obstacles which would prohibit me from serving.

What do you feel are three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help address them?

The condition of city streets.

Economic growth

Stricter ordinance regarding neighborhood and business alleys.

If given the opportunity to serve as a council member, I would like to help address these issues as well as others. Working together with others who have a unified vision for Worland, would be a fulfilling opportunity. Worland has a solid framework and I would like to be a part of making it even better.

Kenneth Shearer - 2-year seat

How long have you lived in Worland?

I grew up in Worland graduated from Worland High School in 1987. Moved back to Worland with my family in 2006.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am the Social Service Director at Worland Healthcare and Rehab.

What is your educational background?

I have a B.S in physical education and a master's in social work

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

This is my hometown, I moved my family back here to have a better life than living in Billings, Montana. I am running to help Worland move into the future but also maintain the small-town values that we have grown to love about our town.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

Yes, I feel that it is very important to me to be available for anyone who lives in Worland and to hear their issues so I can bring them to the Council.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

One issue for the City Worland is the lack of things for kids to do in Worland. Yea there are things to do in the daylight hours but as you get closer to night there isn't much. Lights need to be placed at the skate park to give kids that option rather than running the streets.

Second issue is places to shop this is food and clothing. This is a tough topic to address and hard for the city council to work on, but needs to be looked at.

Third issue is infrastructure. With the state looking to cut their budget and potentially cutting funding to city's and other towns. Worland needs to set a priority list and look at everything going on and address these issue that need to be fixed.

Ward 2

Kody Lynn DeMunbrun - 4-year seat

How long have you lived in Worland?

I have lived in Worland for 14 years.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am a medical receptionist at Bighorn Medical Center.

What is your educational background?

I graduated high school in Roundup, Montana in 1991. I have also completed some online accounting courses from Northwest College.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I am currently on the Worland City Council and I represent Ward 2. I was appointed by the Mayor and the Council after the passing of Dennis Koch. I am running for the City Council in this election because I feel that I have just had an opportunity to touch the surface on what is required of a council person. I have enjoyed what I have learned and would like to serve a full term.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

I do feel that I have the time to attend the Worland City Council meetings as I have been attending since November of 2019. I feel that attendance is a duty and a must for a council person.

The important issues that are my opinion for the City of Worland are:

Continuation of street repairs by using the 1% Sales Tax. Our streets are one of the biggest complaints that I hear about by our visitors to Worland. I am excited to see the new repairs that are already in place and hope to continue to vote for the future reparations needed.

I also believe that we must get the budget of Worland under control to help keep taxes down for our citizens. The economic crisis in America has hit every city but I worry for our city. I think that we must pare down the budget where we can for unnecessary spending. I look forward to hopefully serving on the budget committee if I am elected to serve again as a council person.

I also would like to look to the future of Worland, especially as far as keeping current businesses open. I would also like to try to entice new businesses to open here in Worland, securing our future for years to come. I would like to brainstorm about things we as a city can offer to help businesses open here in Worland.

Wendy Fredricks - 4-year seat

How long have you lived in Worland?

I was born in Worland, and I have lived here my entire life. My family has been in business in Worland for over 60 years. This is my home and it will always be my home.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am the Executive Director for the Worland Senior Center, and I'm knowledgeable of the aging population in our community. I have worked at the senior center for 14 years. I am proficient with grants both state and federal, from writing to executing them. I care about people and their well-being. I have leadership skills, I'm ethical, and feel like I already serve my community.

I ran In-Home services for eight years before I became the director. I know firsthand what the needs are for our aging population. I oversee a staff of over 20 people and five programs to include public transportation. I have experience with budgets, and unfortunately, I'm very familiar working with both state and federal budget cuts. I am responsible for allocating funds appropriately and transparently. I have some experience with working with politicians and I try to be at the legislative session in Cheyenne every year (weather permitting). I'm a member of several clubs including the Elks, D.O.E.S., Eagles Auxiliary, and The American Legion Auxiliary. I support and realize the importance of our local clubs and understand how much good they do for our community not only for our local non-profits but also for many local families.

What is your educational background?

I studied at Northwest Community College, and was a single mom while raising my daughter.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I would like to express my interest to serve the City of Worland, by filling a Ward 2 seat. I'm committed to Worland and its future. I am running for Worland City Council because I believe I can do some good. I love this community, and I truly believe I can make a difference. I'm a self-motivated hard worker, and I don't halfway do anything. When I take on a project, I'm committed, dependable, and present. I have never held a public office and I have a lot to learn, but I am intrigued and welcome the challenge. I want to help make Worland a place that our kids will come back to.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

Now that my daughter is grown I have the time to invest in the Worland City Council and our community.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

I believe the most important issues facing Worland at this time are the budget, infrastructure, and maintaining a thriving community. I am concerned about the state budget cuts and the effect it is going to have on us locally. Infrastructure is always at the top of the list, such as street, curb, and gutter maintenance. I have served on the sales tax committee three times. Through that experience, I have some knowledge of the infrastructure projects and the vision of the city. I would like the opportunity to be a part of seeing the projects come to fruition.

I understand the importance of keeping our population in Worland from diminishing. Our community is amazing and we see that when tragedy strikes and we come together for each other.

I also believe we need to work on positive thinking and understanding, especially though these challenging times. Worland isn't a place for everyone, and it never will be, but it is an amazing place to raise a family or retire and age independently in your home. I think we build on what works here and be realistic of what wont.

Mandy Horath - 4-year term

How long have you lived in Worland? What type of work do you do, and where do you work? What is your educational background?

Having been born and raised in Worland, I take great pride in this community. I am a graduate of Worland High School and also attended Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyoming for criminal justice. My husband, Brad, and I have raised our family here and we can't imagine doing that anywhere else. Currently, I am the office manager of the Worland Gottsche Clinic. My duties include all clerical work, along with being the in-house recruiter, being responsible for recruiting physical and occupation therapists for the Gottsche clinics throughout the Big Horn Basin area. It has been a pleasure to provide service to those who come to our clinic. Before the clinic, I assisted the County Attorney's office as the Victim Advocate.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

I feel that I have ample time to commitment to the City Council as my two sons are adults and currently going to college.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

Civil service is essential to our society to thrive and contributes to the success of our community. It has been a pleasure to serve this community on City Council for the last eight years. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you may have made a measurable difference in your community advancement. I have always taken my position on the council seriously and have dedicated a considerable amount of time to ensure that my constituents are heard. Reaching out to each City department has always been a strength and getting answers to community members. My dedication is also reflected in my attendance to meetings. I have attended several WAM (Wyoming Association of Municipalities) conferences and also acted as President of the Council. Not only have I served on City Council, I have served four years on the Worland Aquatic Joint Powers Board and seven years on the Absaroka Head Start board.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

There are several issues Worland is facing. With the downturn of the economy and the effects the pandemic has created, the City has had to be very cautious with the budget. Being on the budget committee this year, we had to take a hard look at each line item and had to take into consideration every expenditure. With an estimated 20% - 25% loss in revenue in the upcoming year, some hard decisions had to be made and necessary cuts. The City has been able to make those adjustments without having to eliminate any positions or layoff of any employees. The dedicated city workers and police officers are an essential part to this great community.

Another concern for Worland is its infrastructure. The City has made some remarkable strides on improvements to our streets, sewer and waterlines. When I was first elected on the City Council, we asked the residents of Washakie County to vote for the one cent sales tax, which the City of Worland asked that their portion be used for street repair or replacement. This has allowed the City to complete many significant infrastructure projects. Also with the assistance of the one cent sales tax, it has enabled the City to apply for State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) grants for two major projects.

The strength of this community lies within the people who make their lives here. It is important for Worland to continue to promote growth and develop an inviting business friendly environment. The City must commit to provide equal opportunity for all of our citizens to prosper and reach their potential. I believe I can continue to promote growth and progress for Worland.

Morgan Muller - 4-year term

How long have you lived in Worland?

I have lived in Worland since I was about 5 years old.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I dispatch for the Washakie County Sheriff's Office, and have previously been a legal administrative assistance for Edward Luhm's Law Office.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Worland High School in 2014 and then went on to study photographic communications at Northwest College.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I am running for city council because I am passionate about being more involved in my community. I also believe it would be beneficial for the city to have a representative that appeals to the younger generations.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

Absolutely, if I were appointed, I would dedicate my time and efforts to the best of my ability.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

Something I feel strongly about is the low number of small local businesses, and the high amount of people struggling to find employment. Not only do small businesses help with economic growth, but they provide viable employment opportunities. Another issue that is closely related to small businesses in Worland, is the inability to afford rent or payments for a business while also paying for a home. A way to address this could be to re-evaluate the living quarters within the buildings downtown. If the coding or zoning for certain buildings were changed to allow residential living, this could allow for someone to live in the same building they are running their business out of, and give business owners more financial stability to continue operating the business.

Ward 3

Michael Sanchez - 4-year term

How long have you lived in Worland?

11 years now.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

Many of my constituents may have seen me behind the counter at Carquest Auto Parts, where I am a part-time counter salesman. I am also a certified powersports technician specializing in Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Prior to attending school and receiving my certifications, I took over my father's motorcycle and powersports repair shop, Mad Cyclez, residing in the heart of downtown Worland.

What is your educational background?

Following my graduation from Worland High School in 2015, I attended both Western Wyoming Community College and the University of Wyoming, where I learned many things, but most importantly the value of hard work and determination. Soon after my time in the traditional education environment I decided to follow in my father's footsteps and headed south to Orlando, FL to attend Universal Technical Institute's Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. There I led the school in multiple achievements and graduated as the Top Technician in my graduating class.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I want to be an extension of my community, an advocate for their needs. I want to help maintain Worland's past and future glory. I want to stimulate sensible local growth. I want to support our youth by providing new avenues for our young people to find a future here in Worland; while at the same time taking considerable care of our precious older community.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

Absolutely, here in our closely knit community, we have a lot of this. I want to spend mine being involved.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

Conflicts and Negativity: Too often I see the struggle between longtime residents and new incoming residents within the community. A bridge must be built between the different schools of thought so that our community may continue to grow and thrive in the coming future.

Transitional Growth: In a time when many new obstacles are arising and new challenges are presented; local businesses, families, schools and religious groups are forced to adapt and evolve. This forced change is something that can cause businesses to close, cause families to leave and hinder our youths learning opportunities in school. We must find a way to see that these obstacles are overcome and all challenges are met with fierce strategy.

Youth Support: I would like to see more involvement with our community's young people.

They are our future, without them, we have less hope for a prosperous and enduring Worland.

We are all in this thing called "Worland Life" together! Let us make it a better community for all of us, thank you.

William Worley - 4-year term

How long have you lived in Worland?

I have lived in Worland all my life, 56 years.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am a machinist/welder. My brother and I own and operate Worley Welding & Repair Inc.

What is your educational background?

I am a Worland High School graduate.

Why are you running for Worland City Council?

I feel there is a need for some new voices on the council. My father was on the council and loved it, so I decided to give it a try.

Do you feel you have the time it takes to serve on the Worland City Council?

Being a business owner I feel I have and can make the time necessary to be on the council.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Worland, and how would you help to address them?

I think the city streets and infrastructure are two major issues. I know funding is going to be a major obstacle in the future and I hope I can help find some solutions.

Mr. Worley did not provide a photo to accompany his profile.

 
 

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