I can’t believe it is already June. Where has the time gone?? I drove to Cody this week to attend the Wyoming Association of Municipalities annual Conference. I have lived in Wyoming for a very long time, and I have never seen it so green. From Cheyenne, all the way to Cody it is beautiful in all shades of green. I could get used to this except I am tiring of all the rain.
I started out this week’s activities welcoming the Wyoming Writers to Cheyenne for their annual conference. I was a bit shocked by the number of folks who attended the event. I find writing a very tough thing to do, so it was a pleasant surprise to meet so many people who have written novels, blogs, etc. I think writers are so important to our society, especially in a sparsely populated state like Wyoming. The rest of our nation and the world don’t know or understand the Wyoming experience, our values and character. Writers are our ambassadors sharing the narrative and humanizing our state and people. I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to attend.
We have a new leader of the Missile Maintenance Group on our base. Colonel Power’s time in command has passed and Colonel John Schantz has taken on the leadership of our missile maintainers. I have shared how emotional these changes of command are to me. When Colonel Power was giving his goodbyes and turned to the men and women of his command to say thank you, the emotions of the moment were all over his face. I can’t help but get choked up. Wishing Colonel Power well in his new assignment and want to welcome Colonel Schantz and his family to the mighty 90.
The Greater Chamber of Commerce held the graduation for Leadership Cheyenne at their monthly luncheon. I participated in Leadership Cheyenne in 1997 and loved the experience. It is a great program that helps emerging leaders to really see our city and the agencies that help support our community. The highlight to me was the keynote from Josh Dorrell on leadership. We know Josh as the CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, but he has an amazing lesson on leadership I wish you all could have listened to. I took pages of notes on his 5 tier “Leading with Purpose” presentation. I am looking forward to spending time with Josh to learn more about how to live what he is preaching.
I got up early on Saturday morning (boo) to drive to the Iron Mountain Ranch, about an hour west of Cheyenne. Maury Brown bought the ranch a few years ago and it came with a beautiful lake full of fish. Maury wished he could do a day where kids could come to the lake and learn to fish, free of charge. Chris McBarnes from the Wyldlife Fund loved the idea and next thing you know hundreds of kids have had a great outdoor adventure learning to fish. I showed a young girl how to cast her bait and when she threw it into the water the float started to bounce a few times and quit. We watched it together and it started to swim away. I asked her if floats could swim, and she said no. I asked her what that meant, and she said it must be a fish. Then the excitement started. She was jumping up and down as she reeled in a 9” Brook Trout. That look on her face is what Maury’s vision is all about. There must have been 50 adults from the Fish and Game,their Commission, and volunteers there to make it a great experience. The kids got a free rod, tackle box stuffed full of tackle, t-shirt, lunch and all the worms they needed. Great job Mr. Brown and all the volunteers I always brag about.
The first Saturday of each June sees the start of the Gunslingers season of entertaining our residents and visitors. As part of the first show, I get to swear the ensemble in as official ambassadors of our fine city. I really enjoyed this opportunity to thank them for 40 years of giving our visitors a western experience. Now if we could get them to know what hand to raise for a swearing in. haha!
After the Gunslingers, I headed to the Pride event a few blocks to the west all kitted up in my cowboy hat, boots, and jeans. It was a very festive event until a gentleman came by holding a bible and shouting at the folks who were enjoying a Saturday of fun and companionship. It is distressing to me that folks who look different or love different than we do can’t spend a peaceful afternoon together without being subject to shouting and disruption in our city. I know the first amendment gives people the right to do this, but is it the right thing to do? I hope we will decide the answer is no for Cheyenne.
Westby Edge is one of the businesses that applied for the liquor license we gave out last summer. They did not get it but pivoted and opened last weekend as a beautiful brewery and restaurant. I loved how they adapted the 100-year-old warehouse into a great space. It faces the Reed Ave Corridor and will be a great addition to that area as the city works to see the right-of-way redeveloped into an entertainment district. I know this is just one of the first of many along this corridor.
It was a busy weekend and it ended Sunday for me at LCCC to address the 80th American Legion Auxiliary Wyoming Girls State 2023 program. These 75 juniors in high school come from communities all across our state to learn how our government works. I shared with the ladies the promise made in 1869 when the Territorial Legislature, made up entirely of men, gave women the right to vote. I am not sure we have lived up to the promise made in 1869 as women make up only 19% of our state legislature, 10% of our Cheyenne city council, and 20% of our county commission when our state is 49% female. This is an impressive group of young ladies and I hope they have a great time in the capitol city.
Monday was a day the members of our fire department always dreaded.
Marsha Connour retired after 40 years of service to the department. The celebration of her retirement reminded me of the new Tim McGraw song, “Standing Room Only”. The place was packed and it was so great to see generations of firefighters coming back to say thank you for all she did for them and the department. They all call her Chief Marsha and the title is well deserved. We all wish her much success as she moves back to her childhood home of Sundance to be closer to family and a well-earned retirement from the fire department. Thanks for everything ma’am!!
Outside user agreements are the tool we use to provide water and or sewer to areas outside the city limits. We met with a group asking for water to develop a housing subdivision about ½ mile north of town. The need for additional housing balanced against the negative impact these developments have on the city finances make them difficult decisions. We have a working group grappling with this decision. The Iron Horse subdivision will be before the city council in a few weeks and we will have to work our way through the issues and make a decision. It will set a precedent.
Please enjoy your weekend. Stop by Fridays on the Plaza. Last weekend was a blast and you need to hear the new sound system. It is truly amazing.