Comity leading to better city governance?


Way too early to tell. But it was nice to see a long list of actions taken by our city council in the news reporting on this week’s meeting. The reporting also includes the names of many council members in discussion of the different issues, instead of just a couple of names arguing over a couple of issues. It appears to have been a positive, constructive meeting with little of the angst we often heard about in recent years.

Perhaps more forthright communication amongst mayor and city council is leading to better and more productive decision making. We can’t expect to always agree with the decisions coming from our city government. There will certainly be disagreement between members of the council and mayor on certain issues. It is never easy building consensus. But by promulgating the open disclosure of proposals and positions on issues by all our elected officials those disagreements will be handled courteously. 

Open dialogue accompanied by considerate behavior toward city council members from Mayor Patrick Collins is leadership in action. With that approach from the mayor, city council members are much more willing to reciprocate that conduct, too.  For the benefit of our Cheyenne community, city council members Pete Laybourn, Scott Roybal, Jeff White, Bryan Cook, Mark Rinne, Tom Segrave, Michelle Aldrich, Richard Johnson, and Ken Esquibel must be receptive to each others views and respectfully responsive to their cohorts and the public.

So far so good.  After a somewhat disconcerting beginning to his term with a concealed, surprise change in Cheyenne’s Chief of Police, the Mayor has rebounded with a much more candid approach to his job. If he continues to make a concerted effort at that style we will all benefit from a more open process and more thoroughly vetted decisions for our community.

This better approach promises headline making stories from city government that are less titillating and personal than in the recent past. In governance there is always conflict, and that conflict will continue to make the news. We can all follow and better understand the challenges they face, if the conflict is about substance rather than style and ego. 

We are fortunate that the headlines from Laramie County government have been mostly issue related for a while. Our county commissioners:  Linda Heath, Troy Thompsom, Buck Holmes, and Brian Lovett, with Chairman Gunnar Malm have continued a more collegial approach to problem solving with little personality fireworks.

As the commissioners and council members work through the proposals and projects for the upcoming sixth penny sales tax election we’ll find out if this open, clear and professional process will extend between these elected boards leading to a successful negotiated ballot. They will need to work well with the Burns, Pine Bluffs and Albin elected leaders, too.

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