By Joshua Scheer, reporter, county10.com
(Lander, Wyo.) – The Fremont County Commission yesterday approved a new logo policy, setting a standardized logo to be placed on all vehicles owned by the county.
“I’m kind of frustrated that we’re still talking about this,” Commissioner Keja Whiteman said at the start of the discussion Tuesday.
Clerk Julie Freese asked the commission to select a standard logo and set an minimum size so that all department were on the same page. Many departments have their own logos.
The discussion followed an ongoing exchange with Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan who has lobbied for his department’s vehicles to be unmarked. McAuslan has previously argued that using unmarked vehicles would aid his work in delicate situations. Transportation Office Manager Pennie Buffington in an interview said the entire decal discussion began in January 2012. Exceptions at that time were provided for undercover vehicles operated by the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy County Attorney Jodi Darrough said she, personally, was concerned about driving around with the label of “Fremont County Attorney” on the side of her vehicle, for fear of upset defendants. She said she had not discussed the issue with Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn.
Buffington said the week prior to Christmas, the Commission again ordered decals to be put on the coroner’s vehicles.
Commission Chairman Doug Thompson said a reason for having all Fremont County vehicles labeled as such would be to provide public accountability. He said it could help in cases where county employees have been caught using the vehicles to run personal errands.
Whiteman moved for all county vehicles and equipment to have a logo on them depicting the outline of the county, be at least 12 in. by 12 in. in size, and at least be labeled “Fremont County Government.” The department’s name, such as Assessor or Clerk or Coroner may be added at the department’s discretion. Existing county logos on vehicles are grandfathered in, but any new decals must conform to the new policy.
New Commissioner Stephanie Kessler said she had no problem with the proposed standardization of the graphics. However, she proposed an amendment.
“I do have a concern for our coroner who to me has made a persuasive case,” Kessler said, adding she met with McAuslan about a week ago. “I feel it is not our job to dictate to him how to do his job.”
McAuslan was not at the Tuesday meeting.
Kessler lobbied that the coroner should be given the authority to put on and take off magnetic decals as he sees fit. Kessler’s motion failed to find a second.
Whiteman’s motion passed 4-1, with Kessler dissenting.
“I don’t have anything to say now,” McAuslan said over the phone on Wednesday morning.
He declined to comment on the latest ruling, noting he is on the agenda to speak with the commission during next week’s meeting.
Buffington said the minimum-sized graphics cost $6 each. She was pleased to know that all the graphics that were purchased over the last year would be grandfathered in.