Natrona Library Holds Forum for Natrona Commissioner Candidates
On Wednesday, the Casper League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum featuring most of the candidates for Natrona County Commissioner.
Of the 11 candidates, eight candidates for three four-year terms and three to finish out Brook Kaufman's term, who retired earlier this year, all but Steve Freel showed up.
The forum was moderated by Beth Worthen who asked questions they received from the audience, as well as from the Casper League of Women Voters, who also organized the event.
Throughout the forum, the candidates were asked a variety of questions, such as whether they would appoint a county administrator, how they would increase transparency, and how they would pay for the water line through Midwest and Edgerton.
The candidates were also asked about how supportive they are of a new library, and while everyone said they were in favor, each candidate had a different way of approaching funding.
Peter Nicolaysen, a current commissioner, said that due to the issues of asbestos and the building reaching the end of its life there should be a new building, but that they would need to get the funding from somewhere besides the county.
Tom Radosevich, the lone Democrat running, said that the county failed to pass a tax to get a new library, so instead, the county could seek federal funding to build it.
Kianna Smith, who is currently a Natrona County School Board member, said they need to think of more creative ways than raising taxes to fund it.
Terry Wingerter said they if they are able to build a new health department, they could build a new library in that same building, and maybe one cent funding could be a part of the funding source.
Robert Hendry, a current commissioner, said that they wanted to build a new library, but COVID-19 happened and delayed the building, and that after paying off the old jail they could bond it to help build a library.
Curt Simpson said the county should build a new building and that maybe the city could pitch in to help build it.
Paul Bertoglio, the current chairman of the board of county commissioners, said that he's wanted to build one since he was elected, but after being voted down twice he hopes that an amendment change in November could allow the county to invest the county's money.
Shianne Huston said that libraries are very important but that because the taxpayers have voted it down twice, the county will need to find something other than taxes to fund it, and that she's concerned with taking federal money.
Dallas Laird said that the county should use the money it got from selling the hospital in order to build a new library.
James Milne, a current commissioner, said that they should work with the land owners and the city to build it, but he's not sure how exactly they can get there.
Leslie Bromely, who said that she's gone to politics in the parks last year, said that she wished more people had shown up, but thought that all the candidates are trying to do what they think will help the most people.
Kylie McCormick, president of the LWV of Casper, said that while she would have liked more people to show up, she appreciated the people that did.
McCormick said she didn't know why Freel didn't show up, as he had confirmed previously, though, at their city council forum on Aug 3, they have confirmed most of the candidates with one saying they couldn't attend.