February 18, 2020
Town of Guernsey
Platte County, Wyoming
Present: Mayor Paustian, CM Kelley, CM Whitworth, CM Harris, CM Augustyn
Staff: K. Farmer, Chief McGuire, Joe Michaels, Officer Holt, Fire Chief Thomas
Guests: Shawna Reichert, Steve Knight, Christopher Martinez, Rose Martinez, Cris Baker, Robert & Pamela Case, Christa Bartel, Dave Bradford, Shawn Stroud, Kathy Orr, Sheriff Clyde Harris, Eddie Harris, Mark Borders, Beverly Spungin, Rob Cain, Shane Clevenger, John Condos, Shelby & Ward McConahay, Raina McGuire
Mayor Paustian called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. The assembly joined in the Pledge of Allegiance and was welcomed to the meeting.
Agenda: CM Whitworth moved to approve the agenda as amended, seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Minutes: CM Kelley moved to approve the regular minutes for February 4, 2020, seconded by CM Whitworth. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Consideration of Claims: Mayor Paustian presented the vouchers for approval. CM Whitworth moved to approve the Considerations of Claims in the amount of $159,271.81, seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes. Vouchers follow in entirety: Absolute Solutions – 482.00, Benzel Pest Control – 172.00, Bloedorn Lumber – 148.53, Bluffs Facility Solutions – 45.70, Bomgaars – 90.96, Border State Industries – 188.19, Capital Business Systems – 294.09, Caselle – 570.00, CNA Surety – 1250.00, Eckhardt – 6.88, Farmer – 37.55, Frontier Furniture – 2263.80, Guernsey Economic Development – 250.00, Guernsey Gazette – 1247.40, Guernsey Super Foods – 426.99, Holtz – 140.00, Ideal Linen – 575.32, Matthew Bender & Co. – 534.36, Mindieta – 85.25, Mosley – 225.00, Northern Tool & Equip – 398.99, Pitney Bowes Global – 231.12, Sam’s Club – 2494.96, Syncb/Amazon – 2097.01, TDS – 228.69, Verizon Wireless – 390.74, Vistabeam – 465.50, Wester Interactive Service – 1550.00, Wind River Casino – 891.00, wright Express – 1997.95, WMPA – 97434.73, Wyoming State Firemen’s Assoc – 75.00, Wyrulec – 919.023, Payroll – 33,091.88, Taxes & Benefits – 7971.20, Total Vouchers – $159,271.81.
Ordinance 2020-001 – Tobacco Amendment: CM Augustyn moved to approve the 2020-001 Tobacco Ordinance amendment, seconded by CM Whitworth. Vote taken and motion carried with 5 ayes. Ordinance follows in title only: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE TOBACCO CODE OF THE GUERNSEY TOWN CODE.
Planning and Zoning Bylaw Amendment: Cris Baker let the council know that they changed the Chairman to be able to roll over from year to year. CM Kelley moved to approve the Planning and Zoning Bylaws as amended by the board, seconded by CM Harris. Vote taken and motion carried with 5 ayes.
Public Comment: Shawna Reichardt with the Platte County Chamber of Commerce reported that 165 people attended to the Ag Banquet. The annual meeting will be on July 10, 2020, Collen Gregg started with the chamber on February 17th. Mark Borders invited the council, town employees, and the community to the Community Mixer at Banner Capital on Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 5 to 7 pm. Christopher Martinez asked to have some rumors cleared up and thanked CM Whitworth for his comments with bringing complaints forward without fear of retribution. He said that the Mayor gave Chief VanDam accolades not a month prior to her dismissal. The Mayor said she was very insubordinate, and the budget was one conflict and not following directors was big conflict. He heard from a recording that she failed to provide a schedule, the Facebook posts hit too close to home, and not staying within the budget. Why does the Mayor need the schedule? Because he is the Mayor and he is the boss. If you are not on the same plane as your boss, you need to get on the same plane. Can you explain selective law enforcement to me? Mayor said no he cannot. After Chief VanDam was let go, the Chief position was offered to Sergeant Clevenger? No, she was not offered the Chief position. Martinez’s father was an officer in this town for a long time and he had a case where auto parts were being stolen and someone leaked the information and the case was compromised. The meeting on January 21st, you were extremely confident in the new Police Chief. He has been told that Kathy Montgomery, a close friend of mine, was released on February 7th. It was said at the February 4th meeting she was commended for finding information out about a past clerk that was dishonest. Are you scared of strong women that tell you the truth? The mayor said no he was not. It appears you are getting rid of people who are digging into the truth. People have heard that Guernsey doesn’t have a drug problem. We do have a drug problem, a serious drug problem. Mayor Paustian said he has spoken with DCI and they said that Guernsey does have a drug problem, but it is no worse than any other communities drug problem. We don’t want to have a drug problem, but it will fall in line someday. If DCI or FBI feel they need to step in to help aid the Guernsey Police Department, they will. Kate Farmer said that the police budget was over because of General Ledger issues. Kate let Christopher Martinez know that she did make the $45,000 budget amendment and it was put into the police department wages. Text messages were given to Kate from VanDam to give to the Mayor. She gave them to the Town Attorney. Beverly Spungin is concerned about the people being let go. How do the other employees feel about their job, they could be fired without notice? If you are going to fire someone, it would be nice to give them a chance to fix what was wrong. John Condos is representing several radio stations in the area and would like the council to advertise the golf course and campground. He will be back at the next council meeting to see what they think. CM Whitworth talked with Shelby McConahay and it was recommended that “No Parking” and painting the curb yellow on the north side of Sunrise between Kansas and River be done to address that narrow street. Kathy Orr said that the rural fire trucks fit through the street even with vehicles parked on both sides of the street. The street is wide enough to still get emergency vehicles through the street when it has vehicles parked on both sides. Mayor Paustain said we are trying to make passage easier on the narrow streets. CM Augustyn said that Pittsburg is hard to get through and can we come to some sort of compromise to make the street safer? Rose Martinez said the town does not have an ordinance about cleaning sidewalks off after a storm. She cannot get to her car without her son shoveling her entire sidewalk because her neighbors do not do that. Mayor Paustian said cleaning the sidewalks is a big issue and they need to be cleaned. We need to look at creating a snow removal ordinance for sidewalks.
Department Reports: Kate reported that the golf course pump has been installed in the well, the concrete is scheduled to be poured on Thursday and the building will start to be framed out the next week. Mike Mindieta will have 5 or 6 sprinkler lines to fix once the ground thaws out. The Camp Guernsey Connector has completed the land transaction with the military department and is at WYDOT engineering for final review. Once we have the green light from WYDOT we will go out to bid for the project. Kate and Matt have been contacting BNSF to start the permitting process for boring under the railroad for the water main project. Kate also included the parking survey in the council’s packet that was sent out to the residents on West Sunrise Street. Chief McGuire said he knows about the drug problem and that we have people working on it daily. We can’t solve the cases as fast as we would like but we are working on it. Mayor Paustain said that if we can get the community involved in a neighborhood watch that will help. We need to know our neighbors and report issues when we see them so we can take care of the problem. If you see something, say something. Eddie Harris asked if it is confidential why is it being said at the coffee shop? Chief McGuire said that he hasn’t had anything that is confidential come out. Sheriff Harris said we must have probable cause and we can’t kick anyone’s door down on hearsay. Dave Smith accepted an offer to come here after two weeks’ notice with the Sheriff’s department. Fire Chief Thomas said everything is going good at the Fire Department. It has been a quiet month and have had a lot of training with 2 people completing their red card. There will be 6 people taking the fire fighter 1 test on Friday or Saturday this week. Chad Brush will proctor the fire fighter 1 tests. The barrels have been approved to be returned to the railroad and we are waiting on contact to get those taken care of. Engine 1 has been removed from the fire hall and the tanker has been returned. Joe Michaels said he has no update on electric generation with WMPA. Tri-states in Colorado is going 50% renewable and we sell our excess electricity to them, so we will see where that excess electricity will go in the future.
Oath of Office – Chief Dwight McGuire: Mayor Paustain swore in Christopher McGuire with the oath of office for the Guernsey Police Chief appointment. Mayor Paustain thanked CM Whitworth and Chief McGuire for their service and bravery in Iraq.
Mayor and Council Report: CM Whitworth and CM Augustyn did a drive around the community and found 8 or 9 abandoned properties, weed nuisance violations, potholes, and identified some of the property’s owners physically uncapable of taking care of the issues. Shawna Reichardt said to contact the Skills USA and the Youth Challenge to help the community. Cris Baker asked if the Planning and Zoning Board can help with this. Bill Holtz would like to help with abandoned vehicles and CM Augustyn will get with Kate to figure out the logistics. If we could get the volunteer organizations to come together and do a cleanup day with all community members invited that could help address some of the concerns. Mayor Paustain said that his dear friend Sharon Hashman passed away on Sunday and her services will be on February 20th at 2:20 pm at the VFW with graveside services to follow at 3:15. If we have to pass an ordinance to get residents to clean the snow off of their sidewalks, we will do that.
Announcements: 2/20 – Community Mixer, Banner Capital Bank, 3/3 – Council Meeting, 3/4 – Fire Department Meeting
Adjournment: With no further business to come before the Council, Mayor Paustian called for a motion to adjourn. CM Augustyn moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:53 pm, seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Nicholas Paustian, Mayor
Kate Farmer, Clerk/Treasurer
Public Notice No. 1845 published in the Guernsey Gazette, February 25, 2020.