(Lander, WY) – County 10 has contacted all of the mayoral candidates across the County to ask them a few questions.
Julie Silber is currently running for Lander mayor. She has lived in Lander over the years for 30 years and is retired.
Below is a Q&A transcript of our interview, which has been edited for clarity and length.
County 10: What prompted you to run for mayor?
Julie Silber: The situation in the world right this minute is so topsy turvy, in my opinion. I feel like if I don’t stand up, I’m going to get stepped on. So, I have to do something.
C10: Have you served in a similar role?
JS: I was on the Mills Town Council for five years. I was head of streets, water, sewer, and sanitation. And then I was the police liaison/commissioner.
C10: What will you bring to the table as mayor?
JS: I will hear people, I will respect them, and I will welcome people to every meeting that there is. It won’t be that they just got off work, came to the council meeting, sit there till 10, and nobody even recognized them. Even if they did recognize them, they said, “I’m sorry, you’re not on the agenda, so you can’t speak.” That won’t happen, and I will run all meetings by Robert’s Rules. Everyone has an equal and fair chance to speak. And I’m friendly, but I’m firm. I want to hear ideas. An ideal meeting for me would be that people come in there with ideas to share with me, not just complaints. I need to bring together a more peaceful solution to things, and I’m going to create teams of thinkers. Every situation that looks like it’s going to require a lot of work and a lot of thinking and a lot of testing, get them involved. It will help instead of hinder.
C10: What changes would you like to see in Lander?
JS: Streets, sewer, water, sanitation. Then I want to have at least one free day at the dump. It’s a nice way to clean up the city. I’m going back to basics, and I’m going to start from there. Then after we get everything in great shape that way – no complaints about the water, great sewer system, then we’ll talk about fluffy stuff.
C10: What challenges do you foresee in making those changes?
JS: There’s a challenge every time you try to do something, but that’s why I’m going to be open to hearing people’s ideas and their concerns. And I will actually hear them, and I’ll take them into note, and if it’s just a fear and not a fact, I won’t worry about it too much. But I will try to make sure that they understand what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. I’m going to have a team that applies for grants of every kind that we can get if there are no strings attached. I will not have any federal strings attached to the monies that I get.
C10: What do you believe is the most pressing issue facing City Council this year?
JS: The FEMA project. We are going to take away housing for like 40 residents and two businesses. I assume that that’s still going to be the plan. And if you look at the city of Lander and the availability of properties for sale or rent, where are those people going? Do we really want to just cast out that many dozens and dozens of residents? I’m sure the city isn’t obligated to find them another home. They are obligated to purchase their home, but it will be at a horrible value, probably 80% of the value. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
C10: What is one thing you wish people knew about Lander?
JS: Lander is a peaceful place to me. I love the Sinks. I love the outdoor activities. It’s just an all-around great place.
C10: Anything else you wish to share?
JS: I think right now, the position of the public is that we’re in a crisis. I want people to feel confident in my abilities. I’m very common sense oriented. Crisis of confidence is a killer, and I’m going to change the face of politics. In my place, you will be welcome. In my meetings, in my office privately, I don’t care I will happily see anybody who wants to see me.
I am also completely behind the police department. We have 20 officers here, and I’ve met with the chief of police, and he is very impressive.
I also have a thing about taxes. We’ve got to figure out a way for the government to run without collecting all of our residents’ money. How are people doing it? If you’re 65 and older and you’re living on a fixed income? And we’re raising those prices constantly. How are they going to recoup or live a decent, fruitful life? They can’t. I want to see things. I paid all these fees, but I got the best road on the planet or something. I need to see something for my money.
Additional questions and answers can be found here on the League of Women Voters Fremont County Primary Election Voter Guide.
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