Fremont County Association of Governments initiates new officers

    (Lander, WY)  The mayors of Fremont County’s municipalities elected new officers at their first meeting of the year for the Fremont County Association of Government (FCAG) held on Tuesday, January 31, at the Lander Community Center.

    Lander Mayor Monte Richardson was elected as Chair, with Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith staying on as Vice-Chair. Secretary/Treasurer is Fremont County Commissioner Mike Jones; Gary Michaud continues as FCAG Administrator.

    2023 Fremont County Association of Governments:


    Monte Richardson – Mayor of Lander, Chair

    Joel Highsmith – Mayor of Shoshoni, Vice-Chair

    Mike Jones – Fremont County Commissioner, Secretary/Treasurer

    Patricia Neveaux – Mayor of Dubois


    Timothy Hancock – Mayor of Riverton

    Matt Pattison – Mayor of Pavillion

    Sherry Oler – Mayor of Hudson


    Gary Michaud – WRTA, Administrator

    Others present at January’s meeting were Tauna Groomsmith, Community Prevention Specialist, Fremont County Prevention Program; Owen Sweeney, Executive Director, Lander Chamber of Commerce/Wind River Visitors Council; Rajean Fossen, Chair of the Community Services Block Program Advisory Board; Missy White, Lander City Council, Ward 2: and Andy Gramlich, Wyoming Economic Development Association (WEDA) Board member.

    What is FCAG?


    FCAG began in the 1970s with the mayors getting together at the Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM), talking about and addressing different issues in their respective cities. Over the years, it grew into a more formal organization and became the Fremont County Association of Governments in 1983, functioning as a Joint Powers board recognized by the State of Wyoming.

    FCAG is made up of three components: 1) Administration of the organization through mayoral representation (monthly meetings, discussions of issues and concerns, legislative updates, resource sharing, etc.), 2) administration and oversight of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, which serves low-income individuals through the Wyoming Department of Health, and 3) Wind River Transit Authority (WRTA), which offers transport services throughout Fremont County, the Wind River Indian Reservation and Central Wyoming.

    As a part of January’s meeting agenda, FCAG Administrator Gary Michaud stepped the mayors through a brief orientation of the organization’s founding documents, such as the Articles of Association, bylaws, budget, and the Joint Powers Agreement required by the State.

    Fiscal responsibility

    The FCAG budget is generally around $2 million and is reported to the Department of Audits every year. The [additional] 1% and ½% sales taxes are collected from businesses and given to the State, which records the revenue and then disperses it monthly to the local governments based on population. FCAG tracks these funds in separate accounts and allocates them solely for the purposes for which they are defined. The 1% and ½% sales tax ballots go before the voters every four years and are critical to the sustainability of the municipalities.

    “I think we raised over $80 million just to repair our roads in the last ten years, which is a lot of roads,” Michaud said. “We need to keep our roads in good shape if we’re going to keep moving forward and being good, productive, vital communities and economies.”

    A law passed last year (HB0060/CH0040) which will require public officers to be trained and certified in fiscal responsibility and reporting. A statute under the Department of Audit, all public officers holding their positions as of July 1 of this year will be required to be trained in areas of fiscal responsibility, depositories, meeting minutes, records management, reporting requirements, internal controls, investments, payroll, grants, public meetings, specific bid requirements, and ethics.

    “That is going to affect all special districts…anybody that handles public funds has to have this training,” said Mayor Joel Highsmith. “Recreation districts, cemetery districts, senior housing districts, etc.”

    Mayor Tim Hancock said that “the bootcamp from WAM…would likely fill the bill for that.”

    Michaud informed the mayors that there was also a new organization that was formed last year called the Wyoming Association of Special Districts, “…so I think we’re going to see them beefed up because of things like this…they will probably have some trainings as well.”

    FCAG meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month, with the location rotating as each member hosts a meeting in their own municipality throughout the year. For more information, visit their website at


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