Teton County Commissioner Candidates 2020 | Native Authorities

District 1 – 4 Yr Time period  



Taylor Barlow 

-Why are you operating?

I’m not operating as a result of I really feel compelled to control. I’m operating as a result of I imagine I can apply my skills, effort and time to positively have an effect on the way in which our county authorities facilitates – or will get out of the way in which of the prosperity and high quality of life of every county resident. All of the whereas defending the wealthy environmental assets which all of us maintain expensive.

-What actions will you absorb workplace to realize your targets?

Applicable actions are ruled by elementary ideas. The ideas that I plan to use whereas serving as county commissioner are as follows:

Equity and stability so that each constituency is heard and regarded.

The individuals, not the politicians or authorities, are the supply of options and alternative.

Nothing is free and tax {dollars} are a sacred belief that should not be squandered.

There may be extra that binds us than separates us and we should always conduct ourselves accordingly.

-What are your high two coverage priorities?

Though there are a selection of essential points dealing with the county, probably the most apparent points that impacts each county resident is availability and affordability of housing. This begins with the continuing modification of the county land use plan and extends to how the county can eradicate limitations and challenges for the housing business to ship reasonably priced housing to the market. Whereas saying this, we might want to stability the requirement to guard the wealthy environmental assets that the valley affords.

I can even concentrate on a sustainable, financial growth plan that may entice significant long-term employment for valley residents. I imagine that the valley has the capability to incubate and develop dynamic new enterprise ideas. We also needs to actively recruit staff who, due to a brand new work atmosphere introduced on by COVID 19 at the moment are searching for a extra life affirming location through which to stay and work. This isn’t a time to passively look ahead to enterprise to search out us however for us to actively market the unparalleled options this valley affords. As companies react and reply to a brand new distant working paradigm for his or her staff. Teton Valley ought to be aggressive in advertising ourselves.

-What challenges do you anticipate to come across in workplace and the way will you overcome them?

There may be a lot political strife and division in our nation in the present day, and it sadly extends into our valley. I feel the largest problem might be to construct bridges of belief and cooperation between a various array of constituencies who all really feel that their agendas are for the betterment of the valley. I can’t function a inflexible ideologue, however as a principled choice maker in line with the ideas that I’ve outlined. I’ll make each effort to discover a truthful and equitable stability to each choice I’m required to contemplate.



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Cindy Riegel 

Why are you operating?

Over the previous 6 years as Teton County Commissioner, I’ve found that working as a neighborhood elected official representing my group may be very rewarding.

I really like my job and have met many fantastic group members by way of my public service. I’m intrigued by the problems and particulars related to native authorities. I get pleasure from working with metropolis and state officers to enhance companies and infrastructure. Nonetheless, my true ardour lies in planning for a profitable future.

I’ve demonstrated my dedication to proactively addressing the expansion and alter we face in a manner that sustains a strong financial system and conserves the pure atmosphere, however there may be extra work to be accomplished.

What actions will you absorb workplace to realize your targets?

My main objective as a call maker is to boost alternatives for the individuals who stay right here whereas defending the explanations they do.

I’ll proceed to work collaboratively with the cities by way of the Joint Housing Authority to develop completely reasonably priced housing in our group.

I’ll proceed to assist the Teton Regional Financial Coalition and Idaho Division of Commerce in offering technical help, workforce coaching, and artistic funding for companies that present yr spherical jobs in our valley.

I’ll proceed to advertise complement levies and bonds and foyer the state legislature to supply extra funding and higher alternatives for college students and lecturers in our valley.

I’ll be sure that we replace and modernize our zoning and land-use codes in order that they successfully defend human well being and security, foster organized progress, present predictability for residents, and preserve the pure assets and great thing about Teton Valley.

What are your high two coverage priorities?

Honoring the ecosystem we stay in is a high precedence for me. As we proceed to develop and develop, the county must work extra intently with Idaho Fish and Recreation, native non-profits, and our public land managers to make sure that we adequately defend essential wildlife habitat. This contains evaluating the impacts of leisure use on the Teton River and mitigating roadkill hotspots.

Securing the Way forward for Farming and Ranching is crucial for sustaining our agricultural heritage and open house whereas rising our native meals system. One other precedence for me is working with Teton Meals and Farm Coalition to research and undertake countywide insurance policies and initiatives that assist farmers and ranchers whereas encouraging extra meals and farm-based companies.

What have you ever completed in workplace to this point that you’re pleased with?

As the present Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, I’m pleased with my management within the county’s response to the COVID—19 pandemic, particularly the coordinated response that I established with the Mayors of Victor, Driggs, and Tetonia. I additionally helped arrange and stand-up Teton County’s Emergency Operations Middle (EOC) and the Unified Command Workforce. In consequence, now we have stored our well being care services from being overwhelmed and (thus far) haven’t misplaced any lives to the virus in our county.

District 2 – Two Yr Time period 



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Michael Whitfield

Why are you operating?

I’m a child from Driggs. My mother and father and grandparents taught me to like this place, a spot with cherished pure treasures the place neighbors deal with each other. Teton Valley remains to be that particular place, and that spirit of serving to each other nonetheless thrives. However our persons are extra divided than ever. The mixed challenges of the illness pandemic and its financial repercussions sign even better challenges to come back. If ever there was a time when we have to work collectively it’s now. That impulse is on the core of why I’m operating for Teton County Commissioner.

What are your high two coverage priorities?

I imagine our work collectively should be grounded each in respect for the person dignity of all our individuals and in appreciation for the wants of nature now and into the long run. That perception leads me to 2 speedy priorities.

My first coverage precedence might be to make sure equitable entry to primary household wants for all our individuals. A urgent problem dealing with native households is reasonably priced housing. Properly over 1/four of native households are cost-burdened, which means that they’re spending greater than 30% of their incomes for housing. There’s a essential scarcity of long-term rental items. Prices for leases and residential possession have elevated tremendously. This concern impacts lots of the important staff in all points of our group who make Teton Valley perform. The great work underway by way of the native Housing Authority must be tremendously expanded.

My second coverage precedence might be safety of our valley’s pure assets.

Teton Valley is greater than one other fairly place. Our wildlife, fisheries, mountain views, clear air and water, and public lands are irreplaceable treasures. Our agriculture is significant to our financial range and entry to wholesome native meals. Our sturdy out of doors recreation alternatives are central to who we’re, entry is crucial. I’ve spent a lot of my lifetime working to preserve Teton Valley’s pure belongings. Right now I see conservation of open house for agriculture, for wildlife and for recreation as a essential want for far more of our collective consideration.

What actions will you absorb workplace to realize your targets?

To deal with our housing disaster, I’ll develop the work of the Housing Authority by way of better County participation. There may be a lot want for group training on the worth of housing for all our native individuals to take care of a wholesome group. There’s a want to repeatedly replace knowledge. The County will help receive land for housing and funding to leverage grants and incentive-based applications to construct reasonably priced housing.

There are some nice methods obtainable—we want better utility of these instruments.

Within the enviornment of safety of our place, I see sturdy conservation as a product of training and outreach, of considerate land use planning, and of safety applications constructed on effectively thought of growth insurance policies and public/non-public incentives. We defend what we perceive and love—we want better consciousness. We have to undertake a Teton County Land Use code that serves all our individuals and protects our valley. We want better utility of incentives to assist landowners preserve particular areas.

What challenges do you anticipate to come across in workplace and the way will you overcome them?

The social and financial stress we’re experiencing proper now has highlighted our cultural and political discord at a time after we actually need to work collectively. Too typically life-long residents really feel forgotten, newcomers really feel unwelcomed, and our giant Hispanic group is solely ignored. I’ll make use of energetic outreach to make sure that all our individuals have a voice in our future. I need to lead an effort to fix fences, rediscover respect and civility, and convey all these individuals prepared to hear to at least one one other into planning for our tomorrow. 



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Harley Wilcox 

Why are you operating?

I’m searching for reelection because the District 2 Commissioner in 2020 for a lot of causes. I sit up for engaged on a brand new Growth Code that directs progress, is simple to grasp and has group assist. With correct planning and assist of the numerous companies in our group and the brand new companies we hope to see, we are able to proceed to assist wage will increase and a wholesome native financial system. I hope to work with builders and developer to develop insurance policies and ordinances that may assist reasonably priced housing with out taxpayer subsidization.

What actions will you absorb workplace to realize your targets?

The county can effectively present high quality public service, and I need to proceed to push for that to enhance. With an excellent group on the Board of Commissioners, we are able to keep the robust sense of place and high quality of life that we all know and love within the West. It is necessary for us to proceed to assist particular person freedoms and personal property rights whereas directing progress with a considerate plan supported by residents and companies.

What are your high two coverage priorities?

High priorities in our Valley are housing and wages. Each are immediately affected by the county insurance policies. I moved to Teton County 30 years in the past and was in a position to construct a pleasant and reasonably priced residence. However since that point, some county boards have taken an anti-development strategy mixed with a not-in-my-back-yard mentality, so as to add governmental pink tape and regulation making it manner too tough to construct or develop reasonably priced housing. This may be mounted with out extra taxation and authorities intervention. Promote and assist alternative for enterprise in our county, and we’ll see higher wages. Take away hurdles to reasonably priced growth to permit for some homes within the $200,000 vary. As increasingly more persons are in a position to work in our Valley for favorable wages, together with working remotely, we’ll see extra change. Let’s work collectively to permit extra jobs at higher wages and create extra alternative for individuals to afford housing and luxuriate in residing right here comfortably.

What have you ever completed in workplace to this point that you’re pleased with?

I’ve been proud to serve the group with particular person rights and freedoms in thoughts. As a member of the Board of County Commissioners, I’ve been in a position to make each choice independently and not using a political agenda or advocacy group telling me what to do. I’ve been in a position to stick to my values and beliefs, even when my place will not be standard with everybody, and that has allowed me so as to add a voice to the dialogue that will not in any other case be represented. This has been true when a previous board tried to gather an illegal tax regardless of a court docket ruling that it was flawed. I voted to cease infinite court docket appeals and return the cash to the taxpayers. I’ve additionally supported cheap funding for regulation enforcement. We have been in a position to sluggish turnover by setting a wage that enables our native regulation enforcement to stay on this group — a end result that makes all of our residents safer. Some individuals describe me as the sensible voice on board, as a result of I normally have a typical sense strategy to drawback fixing that comes from years of proudly owning and working my very own companies. The county wants a sensible, unbiased voice.

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