UPDATE on 5/9: The special meeting has been moved to Wednesday, May 12 at 6:30 pm.
(Pavillion, WY) – It has been a busy start to 2021 for the Pavillion governing body as they work through an investigation and state audit, elected official changes, and new staff filling important roles.
Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese swore in Matt Pattison, a town council member and mayor pro tem, as the new full-time mayor on March 26th. According to Matt, former mayor Chuck Snyder voluntarily stepped down at the end of March due to time constraints with his full-time job.
“I never thought I’d be a mayor,” Matt chuckled. “There was some arm twisting to get me to run for council, but I’m stepping up to the table and willing to learn. I might not be a 5-star mayor, but I’m going to do the best I can to help the town of Pavillion thrive.”
The transition in roles has been great, he explained, noting the support from the surrounding area mayors has been very helpful. The municipality-to-municipality support has also extended to the new Pavillion town clerk McKenzie Groom, who started in March as well.
The beginning of Matt’s time as mayor has focused on working with the state auditor’s office and providing the necessary documentation and information. The town’s financials are undergoing an audit that was prompted by the theft of town money. The audit began in mid-April and a timeline for completion is not currently known nor a determination of how far back the audit will go.
The unknowns of the audit have created some concerns for the 2021-22 budget which is due in the coming weeks. However, they are still working on the framework and using last years’ as a baseline.
In addition, Matt shared he has been implementing changes to several processes in hopes of moving the town forward and being more transparent. Some of the updates include creating employee handbooks, implementing more checks and balances on financials, addressing outstanding issues, and digitizing paperwork among others.
The lack of law enforcement within town limits is also a large concern for Matt and several community members. Ideas about how to increase law enforcement have been floated and include setting up a satellite office for the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. No decisions have been made, but he plans to find a way to address the issue.
Two community members were interested in the open council seat. Lucie Simmons and David Befus both interviewed this week. A selection will be made at a special meeting at 6:30 pm on May 12th.
While Matt is still adjusting to the new role, he wants folks to know that he is there to help move Pavillion in a new direction and forward. He encourages anyone to stop by and chat with him.
“Things are going to be great,” he said about the future. “I want to leave the legacy that we cleaned the slate and started fresh.”
County 10 will share updates following the town council member selection next week.