By: randosteve|Posted on: August 17, 2008|Posted in: Guest Posts, People | 7 comments

I’m off to the Wind River Range for a quick adventure with Randokitty. (hint: peak elevation 11,884′.) Though I heard it snowed a bit in the Winds over the past few days, I’m hoping the rock will be dry by the time we get in to our objective. With the upcoming primaries on Tuesday, it’s a good time to take a quick look at who you’re voting for. Here’s some help from the Kitty with some of’s picks!


When Randosteve asked me to write a guest-shot, “Randokitty on the Candidates” I wasn’t sure if it was because he wanted to get out of writing it himself or, if he was simply sick of hearing me hiss and yowl about our local political situation. Nevertheless, I’m happy to oblige since I follow local politics quite closely and in this, like so many political campaigns, I’ve smelled a few rats.

Rather than give “the claw” to the rats (or toss them to the litter box), I’ve opted instead to highlight a few of the candidates I like, and give them the Randokitty “thumbs up”, or “the paw”. For a more complete analysis of the candidates, including information on the races for House and Senate Districts please visit Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Jackson Town Council Candidates:
Eight candidates are currently running for two seats on our Town Council. In the primaries, next Tuesday (August 19th), you’ll have the opportunity to vote for four candidates, essentially limiting the field to these four for the general election on November 4, 2008. To vote for Town Council you need to live within Jackson town limits.

Greg Miles: For all you skiers and boarders out there, Greg may be your man! He’s a former ski patroller, climbing guide and has done his time pounding nails in Teton County. Greg knows what it means to be one of us (a renter, a skier, a climber, a worker) because he’s been one of us and still is, except he now owns property. Greg wants to expand affordable housing, while protecting wildlife and open spaces, by focusing development in areas where density already exists. In addition, he’s willing to champion progressive environmental initiatives to make Jackson even better than it currently is. Greg Miles for Town Council.

Matt Lee: Since Kitties were allowed into the Candidates Forum on July 31st, I had the opportunity to hear and see this guy in action. I was very impressed (as were my human companions). Matt is full of innovative, applicable ideas on how to deal with our current crises of affordable housing and conservation. Even better, his solutions don’t pit housing against conservation – which so often seems to be the case in our community conversations. Focus Jackson Hole.

Tommy Wood: Tommy Wood may be man closest to the hearts of the true ski bum, truck-dwellers, coach surfers and those just scraping by here in Teton County (Randokitty definitely classes herself in this category). Age 29, Tommy has lived in Jackson for two years working for nonprofit groups and is running for office because of his commitment to “Jackson’s working class.” If elected, Wood will prioritize workforce-housing with a particular focus on affordable rentals. Elect Tommy Wood.

Louise Lasley: Backcountry skiers may find Louise particularly appealing because she’s dedicated to slowed growth and protecting our natural resources. As the public lands director for the JH Conservation Alliance, she’s stated that she believes wildlife and open landscapes should be the issues of highest importance in any decisions made on land use, growth and transportation.

Jackson County Commission Candidates:
Eight candidates are currently running for two seats on our County Commission. In the primaries, next Tuesday (August 19th), you’ll have the opportunity to vote for four candidates (two from each party) in this partisan race. These four will then vie for the two open seats in the general election on November 4, 2008. To vote for County Commission you need to live within Teton County (which includes the Town of Jackson).

Virginia HidekoperClaire Fuller (D) : This girl is dynamite! Claire is a third generation Wilson-ite who is running for a commission seat because she says she won’t be able to stay in the Valley if local government doesn’t work on making home ownership more affordable. Claire has some great, realistic ideas on how local government can do this, as well as a super progressive philosophy on transportation. On the skiing side of things, Claire IS Virginia Huidekoper’s (one of the original, pioneering female skiers on Teton Pass) granddaughter…need I say more? Claire for Teton County.

Andy Schwartz (D) : All you have to do to feel good about this guy, is look at his voting record. Andy is seeking a third term in the Commissioner’s chair where he has managed to balance the seemingly impossible demands of affordable housing, human services, growth management and wildlife protection.

Leland Christensen (R): Leland is another quality incumbent running for reelection. During his first term in office, Leland demonstrated that he has the courage to stick his neck out on the issue which matters most to him – protecting wildlife and open spaces. That being said, he recognizes the need to balance environmental stewardship with the need for affordable housing.

Capt. Bob (R) or Dennis Triano (R):For more information on these and other candidates check out Jackson Hole News and Guide

Too much thinking for this Kitty! Time for some milk and a catnap…and then I’ll keep stalking those rats!


Randosteve on the SPET Tax Initiatives

New Justice Center: At $64 million dollars, I feel this is way to much money, the planned building too big and it’s downtown location all wrong. Yeah, we might need a new jail, but not this one. Besides, rumor has it if the new jail gets the thumbs down, a helicopter for Teton County Search and Rescue might be next on the ballot. Which sounds more appealing to you???

Highway 22/West Broadway Pathway (#1): Though I do not agree with all the environmental destruction and pathway building in Grand Teton National Park (pathways should be about transportation and connecting communities…not recreation), I see the need for this particular stretch between Wilson and Jackson to be completed.

Town Sidewalks (#2): At $1 million, this sounds like something I can live with for town maintenance.

Library Addition: Though my spare time is now taken up with maintaining, I know many people that spend quite a bit of time at the library and it is a big plus to the community. Now if I can only find out where the library is!

New START Bus Barn (#4): Supporting public transportation is always a good thing and if you have ever driven in Jackson during rush hour, you will no doubt vote yes on this one. Hopefully it helps to get more cars off the road.