(Fremont County, WY) – The Fremont County District 4 Commissioner seat is up for election this year, and incumbent Republican Mike Jones is seeking a second term.
Jones has always felt a responsibility to give back, which is why he decided to run for the Commissioner seat four years ago.
“I am and have been for most of my adult life very grateful for what we have in America and the freedoms and what we’re able to do, and I have always felt the responsibility to give back,” he shared.
In 2017, Jones sold his business, so the timing was right to run for Commissioner.
“I did a fair bit of research to understand what they do. With my background in operations and business, I get the whole budget thing, I get organizations, I get objectives, I get relationships and thought that (Commissioner) would be a good fit for me, and I believe it has been a good fit for me.”
During his tenure, they have had conservative cost management by consolidating and selling buildings and in their budgeting.
“When 2020 hit and our budgets looked pretty bleak, we had to cut over 20% out of our budget. We did that. We still maintained a fairly high level of service, and we just lowered the mill rate. Lowered the mill rate from 12 to 10, and that’s because of our detailed approach to budget management. We try to provide more service for less cost, and I think we’ve proved that. I’m proud of what we did with the museum, library, and fair is that we pushed more of the burden to their patrons. Saying you have got to get your patrons to support you in fundraising because we can’t do it all out of the general budget. Not everybody goes to the library, not everybody goes to the fair, and I think that’s fair. Those organizations have stepped up. I was pretty involved in encouraging that, and I feel pretty good about the system. They’re getting a lot more. They’re still getting a library, still got a fair, still got all these things, but we’re doing it for a lot less cost out of the general fund.”
During his time as a Commissioner, he also helped raise funds for the Veteran’s Memorial.
“That’s really important to me, and it’s certainly important to our Veterans. So, I’m glad to see that polished up and fixed up a little bit.”
Jones also shared he believes he’s improved communication between the Commission and the Library, FCAG, and Solid Waste.
“I have worked really hard with those groups to improve communication with the County Commissioners. And I think a lot of the mayors would agree that it is better. It’s not perfect. It’s important to get us all working together, and that’s been a real big thing for me.”
Ambulance service across the County is also important to Jones, and he wants to continue working on it since the current financial situation is not sustainable long-term.
Another big challenge that is a priority for him is road safety. Roads such as Mortimore, Tweed, and Baldwin, among others, don’t have a shoulder, and there is increased bike traffic.
Jones said he has been pushing hard to get engineering studies so they can apply for federal dollars in the future to see if they can’t improve the balance between the “multimodal.”
“Those are long-term problems that can take five to 10 years, so I want to continue pushing on things like road safety,” he said.
Jones also expects a conversation about a regional water strategy to take place in the next four years.
“I know Lander has pushed that. Hudson, Pavillion, these little communities can’t afford the infrastructure anymore, and we’ve got to figure out if we can pull together.”
Another looming timeline is the closure of the Lander landfill in 2027-28, and Jones wants to continue working on that as well.
He hit the ground running after being elected in 2018 and learned the necessary silos of history behind topics. Jones has now hit his stride and hopes to continue serving and helping the community for a second term.
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