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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Since Mayor Orr can’t curb her own ethical misbehavior, it’s up to the City Council to do so

“You don't tug on Superman's cape.
You don't spit into the wind.
You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, 
And you don’t mess around with Jim.”
 —  “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” — Jim Croce


There are some things you just don’t do. You don’t even have to told they are wrong or stupid or inappropriate. You just know they are. 
But then there are some people who know these things are wrong, but they do them anyway because, well, they see themselves as different from the rest of us. They are special, above the rules, so they arrogantly do what they want, when they want. And to hell with norms.
Take Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr.
Her Honor surely knows that one of the highest ethical standards for public officials is to avoid all appearance of impropriety. Not only do ethical officials not do improper things, they don’t do that which might even seem improper. 
This is a recognition
Mayor Marian Orr, Dealin’ Doug and the “gift” pickup.
that perception is reality. If it looks suspect, the voters think, than it is. And to ignore this principle is to degrade the respect and trust that the voters should have for their government.
So, really, there shouldn’t be a need for a change to the city’s purchasing policy to make this point. Yet here comes former City Council President Rocky Case with a proposed change in an effort to put reins on a wayward city leader. That leader? Who do you think?
Case’s proposal reads in part:
“The intent of the City Purchasing Policy is to provide guidelines for City elected officials, Department Directors and City employees who are involved in any segment of the procurement process for their departments or offices. … The cooperation is of everyone is essential if the city is to maximize the economic benefit (of items and services) purchased by the city. The Purchasing Policy expressly applies to elected officials.” (The italics are mine.)
            In the city’s “Handbook on Purchasing,” it says: “Never solicit or accept money, loans, credits or prejudicial discounts, gifts, entertainment, favors or services from your present or potential suppliers which might influence or appear to influence purchasing decisions.”
            Case’s changes really would not be necessary if Orr would simply follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, she thinks she is above the rules and so chooses to violate them.
            This change in the policy, no doubt, came about because Orr accepted the use of a truck from local vehicle salesman Dealin’ Doug for the 2019 Cheyenne Frontier Days. The mayor tried to argue that this wasn’t a gift, per purchasing policy, and besides, she arrogantly asserted, the policy didn’t apply to her office. 
Yet the free use of the truck was, if nothing else, a clear violation of the accepted practice that public officials avoid even the appearance of impropriety.  Dealin’ Doug was in negotiation for city property, and he is a potential bidder for contracts when the city buys vehicles. That acceptance of his “gift” was a clear conflict of interest for the mayor, and more obviously it stunk of impropriety. 
Perhaps Doug’s motivations were pure. Perhaps, especially if one wants to ignore that he benefited from the free advertising. But that didn’t matter. Orr should never have gotten behind the wheel of the truck, and for her to argue that the purchasing policy did not apply to her was a blatant slap in the face of all here who expect their government to be run by ethics, not self will.
Unfortunately, one ethical violation breeds another. In the intervening months since Orr’s CFD truck ride, she has been caught with her hand in a Bloomberg grant cookie jar given to the city for downtown development. She paid back the money that she put to personal use, including bar tabs and plane tickets. But the city also was on the hook for its misuse, and the City Council was forced to use public funds to fill in the gaps.
So it is clear that Case’s policy needs to be approved, if only to clarify the rules to a rogue mayor. This should not have to be put into writing, but apparently in her case, and in the case of those who might try to follow in her footsteps, it does. 
If this proposal doesn’t pass the council unanimously, then voters should take note come this fall. If council members — and the mayor, for that matter — can’t stand up for ethical behavior, then the people of Cheyenne need to find public officials who will.
Apparently Orr prefers to tug on Superman’s cape and to spit into the wind. This time the City Council, call it “Jim,” should make certain the mess lands squarely back on her.

D. Reed Eckhardt is the former executive editor of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Estimate shows CFD will profit from security charge, but why are Cheyenne police working there at all?


OK, folks. Here's another boring numbers article with regard to the dispute between the mayor and Cheyenne Frontier Days about paying for security for annual event. Under consideration is a 50-cent service fee on CFD tickets.
According to Police Chief Brian Kozak, police industry standards typically call for a ratio of between 500 and 1,000 attendees per officer during an event. In previous years, the ratio had hovered around 1,700 CFD visitors for every patrol officer on the scene.
Here is what the city's website has on police annual pay rates:
Patrol Officer, Entry Level, annual salary, $51,509.
Patrol Officer, Top Level, annual salary, $67,186.
I took the low end for my analysis on the principle of the Police Protective Association asking for annual raises while I was on the council.
The Department of Labor had the following calculation for police officer salary: $52,000 salary working 2,080 hours.
In this case, you can quickly compute the hourly wage by dividing the annual salary by 2,080. Your yearly salary of $52,000 is then equivalent to an average hourly wage of $25 per hour.
According to Internet research, the Cheyenne Police Department currently has between 105-110 staffers. So
Cheyenne Police officers provide security at Frontier Days.
let's assume that on CFD week, you have deployments, PTO, illness and other assignments that take your staff down to 80 people. I am going to low-ball this analysis to include rookie rates, knowing that sergeants, detectives, etc. would likely be paid more, including time and a half. But for the sake of this analysis, we are keeping it simple.
My equation has 80 people putting in 20 hours of overtime; that should be a 60-hour work week.  Mind you, some could do more. The Department of Labor calculations had $25 time and a half at $37.50 an hour.
So … 80 people × 20 hours × $37.50 = $ 55,200, plus payroll taxes of $4,222.80 and your additional unemployment insurance and workman’s comp of $6,558.  Grand total: $65,979.80. 
The law sets no limits on how many hours a day or week your employer can require you to work. It requires only that employers pay employees overtime (time and a half the worker's regular rate of pay) for any hours over 40 that the employee works in a week. 
So, per the chief's people-to-officer ratio, the Post Malone night show should have had between 27 and 54 officers for 27,000 people. It sucks there were no meeting minutes on this discussion between City Hall and CFD. And we don’t have a spreadsheet reflecting police overtime rates to equate the initial $100,000 request made by the police department for CFD costs. 
Basically, all we have is a blank check ask by the department — with a public safety rallying cry — encompassing no solid figures and data whatsoever. 
I'm not going to blindly follow you into the trenches just because you say so. The mayor's State of the City said Cheyenne Police makes good use of data. Well, where is it?
Now, let’s look at the study. The Center for Public Safety Management wrote an article on police staffing in regards to officers per thousand people. Here's part of what it said:
“Police agencies routinely speak about ‘recommended officers per 1,000 population’ or a ‘national standard’ for staffing or comparisons to other municipalities. There are no such standards. Nor are there ‘recommended numbers of officer per thousand.’ Nor is it useful to make comparisons with other communities."
The International Association of Chiefs of Police states, “Ready-made, universally applicable patrol staffing standards do not exist. Ratios, such as officers-per-thousand population, are totally inappropriate as a basis for staffing decisions.”
Now let’s look at Cheyenne Frontier Days’ 50-cent security fees per ticket, according to 2019 numbers. 
In 2019, CFD stated it had 120,518 attendees at night shows. That comes to $60,259 for concerts if the 50-cent security fee was included. CFD also stated it had 97,373 attendees to the rodeo. That comes to $48,686.50 for rodeo with the 50-cent security fee.
Total garnered with the 50-cent security fee would be $108,945.50.
In this scenario, CFD would come out ahead of the rate to CPD overtime. Granted, CPD numbers are probably higher, but I don’t feel like filling out a Freedom of Information Act request just to fight with the police department.
My issue with my equation is having 80 officers at one location collecting overtime. There are already a couple hundred volunteers on CFD’s Security Committee that come from law enforcement and military backgrounds. Why is a police presence required? I get it for the detaining purposes, but why can't CFD call the police department like Walmart does when a problem occurs? The CPD Facebook page alerts me daily of another taxpayer-funded response for another shoplifter. 
Public safety is an issue, but I have problems with the tactics used for studies that may not have merit. While researching this article, I found a piece on Austin, Texas, requesting 116 new officers due to its big events, Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. When did “serve and protect” take shotgun to a city-funded security company?

            Richard Johnson is a former City Council member from east Cheyenne.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What’s the rush on the Wyoming land deal? Even carpenters know to measure twice before cutting once

            Editor’s note: This opinion piece was first published in the Casper Star-Tribune on Feb. 23. It is reprinted here with the permission of the writer.


A good carpenter will always say, “Measure twice, cut once.” Doing so avoids mistakes due to haste and lack of information. 
Wyoming’s political leadership, both executive and legislative, should listen to a good carpenter when it comes to the proposed purchase of Occidental Petroleum’s property.
Here’s some background: Occidental acquired another energy company, Anadarko, which had a significant amount
Gov. Mark Gordon pitches the land deal to legislators.
of surface and subsurface property in Wyoming. The figure being tossed around is 1 million surface acres and 4 million subsurface – all in the checkerboard along the Union Pacific main line in southern Wyoming. Occidental paid a reported $37 billion for the deal, and its shareholders are now a little nervous that they won’t get a dividend any time soon. 
So, Occidental decided to sell its Wyoming holdings to improve its balance sheet.
Enter Wyoming’s governor and legislative leadership. Either they approached Occidental, or Occidental approached them, or an intermediary trying to broker a huge land deal acted as matchmaker and set the wheels in motion (the sequence of events seems to be shrouded in secrecy). The result is state government being positioned as a potential buyer for Occidental’s Wyoming assets.
The Governor’s Office has been working on this deal for six months. Again, in secrecy because it is unknown who has been at the table. The product of that effort (the first half of Gov. Mark Gordon’s first year in office) is a bundle of legislation authorizing Wyoming’s State Land and Investment Board to begin negotiating the purchase of Occidental’s property, and using the state’s savings accounts to fund the deal.
These pieces of legislation, Senate File 138 and House Bill 249, are being fast-tracked during a short, hectic budget session that is trying to deal with declining income to the state’s coffers. A companion bill, House Bill 222 would exempt the the land board from Wyoming’s open meetings law so that aspects of the purchase negotiations can be kept secret from Wyoming’s citizens.
So it appears that the governor and Legislature are not going to measure twice, cut once. Instead, they are in a big hurry.
How much is the Occidental property worth? Nobody knows.
How much will it cost Wyoming? Nobody knows.
How will this purchase affect Wyoming’s bottom line? Nobody knows. 
How will it be managed?
Who will be able to use it and how? 
Who, if anyone, will buy it if we don’t? 
Nobody knows.
The only thing we have been told is that this opportunity is too big to pass up and we have to act now!
Don’t get me wrong, this deal could be the best thing for the Cowboy State since the jackalope, or it could be a disaster of Teapot Dome proportions. We just don’t know ... yet. And we need to know before we crack open our Permanent Mineral Trust Fund and our other piggy banks to do the deal. 
A million surface acres and 4 million subsurface, how much will that cost? Nobody’s saying, but my ballpark guess is that we’re talking about close to $1 billion.
I would suggest to the governor and the Legislature that they slow down. Don’t start pulling on a thread that could unravel Wyoming’s carefully crafted savings plan for something that only appears too good to pass up. 
Why not defer a decision on whether to raid our rainy-day accounts until we know more – a lot more – about what we’re buying?
Since we’re all giving lip service to transparency in government these days, let’s really practice it. Let’s give an interim committee a few months or a year to answer some of the many, many questions about this deal, and let’s invite our political leaders to bring those answers out into the fresh air and bright sunshine of day through hearings across the state. 
Without citizen buy-in, and plenty of transparency, the governor and Legislature run the very real risk of making this transaction look and smell like a backroom handshake deal among poker-playing buddies. That can only lead to valid conjecture about what is motivating this move. That’s how conspiracy theories are born.
If Wyoming taking its time to measure twice before cutting results in upsetting Occidental’s time-frame, then that’s really no skin off our noses. If another company steps in and buys what Occidental is offering, then I guess we all tip our hat and say, “That’s how capitalism is supposed to work.”

            Rod Miller is a citizen, father and grandfather and a proud former Rawlins Outlaw living in Cheyenne.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Orr administration has only one goal with traffic tickets: Get as much of your money as it can


The HIVE, or High Intensity Visibility Enforcement just got a few more stingers. It's starting to seem like a City Hall wasp’s nest rather than a bee hive. 
Statistics show that about 95 percent of traffic stops are regular people like you and me; guilty of the "lead foot," a "California stop" or a broken light. Now more options are being taken from you in order to fill the honey pot.
In July 2019, the online traffic course option was taken from you. 
What does this mean?  In the past, when you got a ticket for a traffic violation, a judge could give you the option
of paying for the four-hour online traffic course instead of a hefty fine. 
With this option, you could give the court your results (provided you passed), and it would save you a 100 bucks. The judge would then tell you, “No tickets in two years," you would pay whatever was left of your fine and move on with your life.
Now this online traffic course option is only available if you’re a kid. If you are an adult that's gone 20 years never receiving a ticket and being a good citizen, your only option is to carry an albatross around your driving record neck for eight long years. 
The kids get "Alive at 25" while adults get screwed. Gotta bankroll the city somehow; we have Bloomberg grants to pay back!
What was the city's response when asked about its decision to take away the online traffic course?
They said, “It was too costly and time consuming for the courts.”
So will they implement NSC DDC Additional Dynamics of Driving? They’ll tell you they are still working on agreeing on a price, but it's a face-to-face class. You must give up six hours of your life on a Saturday. Why am I thinking of that movie with Bill Murray’s brother?
Here's what the Internet pulls up about this class:
"Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving is recommended for drivers with multiple traffic violations and those with poor driving behaviors who need a catalyst for positive change. The course is designed for court referrals and drivers who exhibit continuing patterns of risky and overly aggressive driving behaviors."
The class is designed more for dangerous and habitual offenders vs. the average Joe who got a little excited listening to REO Speedwagon and ended up with a speeding ticket. Once again, there will be no option for 95 percent of the populace because we are obviously worthless.
Next up is the new judge in Cheyenne.
The old judge was known to be just and fair, so you know that definitely pissed off the current administration that wants to cheat 24/7. The new judge will likely play hardball with all the speeding minivan moms in town. Some ’60s hot rod with new pipes probably just blew by an old curmudgeon's house in the avenues and disturbed “The Price is Right.” How dare they!?  
Going to court now for a speeding ticket is the same as taking your pitbull case on Judge Judy. You're never going to win. You might as well just pay the citation because the only thing you’ll get from the court is paperwork you can show your boss to justify using PTO. 
The whole thing is just one more slap in the face from government. 
Let's face it, the Cheyenne government is just here to fleece you. Why stand up for yourself? Just go sit in the HIVE and take another stinger in the ass. You deserve it for being human and making a mistake.

            Richard Johnson is a former City Council member from the east side of Cheyenne.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Memories of Sarasville: An attraction of cement homes and dinosaurs that was once on the east side


I remember my daycare center taking us east of town to somebody’s yard filled with stone doll houses and concrete dinosaurs. I remember being told not to touch anything. 
I remember telling my parents about it and us driving around, to no avail, trying to find it again. In high school, my friends would eat acid and go jump the fence. Vandals destroyed most of the figures until one day it was gone. 
So how did Sarasville begin before it came to its destructive end? 
Here’s what people remember of the place dubbed “Dinosaur Acres”:
A man's daughter, Sara, died unexpectedly and unnaturally. He constructed the first dinosaur as a memorial, dinosaurs being one of her loves. Children began coming and playing with this grey-blue Brontosaurus,
Images from Sarasville, once located on Cheyenne’s east side.
which in turn made him desire to build little homes. More children were coming around, mostly at the low-light dusk hours. This lonely father started to run wiring to this area to ensure the children would feel more secure and not fear any sense of dread after nightfall. 
Unfortunately, after the lighting was in place, the children became scarcer. He removed the bulbs from the few poles scattered throughout. All except for that Brontosaurus of mortar, rocks and drowned-out pale blue pigment. 
He heard gleeful laughter an evening shortly after. The children had returned!  He ventured outside, with a warmed heart and a smile, to greet them. Alas, as he crossed his threshold the children left. Left is a misnomer. They simply dissolved, or more accurately, evaporated into a mist. Were these maybe the children that have gone missing since the death of his beloved Sara? 
No one came after this cold lonely night. He started to build with a furious strength to hear these children again.
I just kinda know about them. Made of cement and Coke bottles. Here’s one for you. Ever hear about the guy with the circus wagon full of monkeys that shredded him? Out in the same area. Yeah, I don't have names, but he was a customer of my dad’s. He had a traveling monkey show. He would go around all over and put on his little thing and show the monkeys. Went in to feed them one night and they ripped his ass to shreds and ate most of him.”
I do remember Sarahville. Only visited a couple of times. My dad said the guy who built it used glass embalming bottles to build the one house. Dad told me they would save them for him at the funeral home. Dad said they were square and made for easy building. The one at Sarahville was big enough to walk into.
I heard that it was a guy who lived there. And he built the dinosaurs and stuff in memory of his deceased daughter,
 Sarah. Hence, Sarahville. I also had heard if you trespassed on his property, he would shoot you with salt pellets.
I lived by it growing up.  I loved it and always heard it was haunted. I never saw anything and used to sneak in and get stoned.
I just heard it was haunted but never experienced any paranormal. Was only there once at night and it was creepy.
Dinosaur town, off Pershing. House got condemned because of the number of cats on the premises. The ammonia and feces in the residence were beyond any nasty hoarders’ episode. Then the vandalism that our fine Cheyenne residents did to the statues made the government step in and make the old man take down the statues. 
Used to be a meat packing facility on the same road, which is no longer there either.  I remember this place, and loved seeing it in its prime. What a shame what it is now.
Went there every Sunday with my grandparents and ate our hamburgers from the Arctic Circle. He was a sweet man and always let us walk around and showed us what he was working on. It is so amazing to see those photos.
Snuck in a few times in high school and smoked in the little glass house. Remember hearing the same story about the daughter and possible shooting of trespassers! Ha! I’d love to read a short story about it!
I ripped my pants, all the way up the ass, on a fence there running from something I was afraid of.
Me and a couple buddies went there at a not-so-logical time of night and were not exactly welcomed by the owner. This was circa ’96 if I remember correctly. We roamed around and got a close look at many of his works.
At the time we all thought it was creepy, but now that I think back, the artist had a ton of talent. The time spent to make everything out there is hard to fathom.  As we were running away, I distinctly remember one of our crew ripping their clothes while jumping the fence.  Good times!
The man who built a garden for his disabled wife? Was on the east side.”
Does anyone remember why we called it Sarasville? I heard a mentally challenged man built it for his nieces and nephews.
I always heard he named it after his wife, Sara, that died. And that she was buried in one of the houses.
I know he built it for his daughter. Rumor had it she was never the same after something tragic happened. Nothing confirmed, but one rumor was she was abducted and raped. Lots of stories, but nothing for sure. His wife was never the same after that. It was very sad when they (the son) tore it down. Was a great tourist attraction.
Sara was the name of the mother to Paul, Wilda (Clark) and Laura. That’s where Sarasville came about.
It’s a shame we can’t have nice things. It seems our city should be renamed “Vandalism and RockSalt” because those seem to be the theme. 
Cheyenne truly is “The Tragic City of the Plains.”

            Richard Johnson is a former City Council member from Cheyenne’s east side.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Don’t get distracted by the big stuff at the Legislature. It’s the “sleepers” that can hurt you and your family


While everyone at the Legislature is focused on coal, education and Medicaid expansion, our eyes are not focused on lesser-known, or “sleeper,” bills. These are every bit as important to the welfare of Wyoming’s citizens.
Here’s a sleeper bill that requires your attention.
Do you love your grandpa, grandma, mom, dad?  Take a look at Senate File 96.
Here’s the first paragraph:
“(d)  Unless otherwise specified by law, the division shall not require licensed practical nurses or nurses with more
The source of laws — the State Capitol.
advanced credentials to serve as nursing staff for any secured unit of an assisted living facility or any assisted living facility dedicated to providing special care and services for people with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia conditions.”
Currently, skilled nurses are required in secure units of assisted living units in Wyoming. But legislators have decided there is no need for skilled nurses to care for our most vulnerable population. Just lock ’em up and let an aide hose ’em down every day.
The next paragraph of the legislation does ensure that at least the water in the hose is hot.
Sad, folks. You have to be involved and contact your legislators to voice your opinion on pieces of legislation like SF 96.
Another sleeper is on Senate File 77, and it proposed changes to Wyoming State Statute 35-7-1060.
WY SS 35-7-1060  essentially established a prescription drug monitoring program in Wyoming, managed by the State Board of Pharmacy. It warehouses prescription data of all Wyoming residents who have been prescribed any Schedule II, III, or IV drug as defined by the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
Some examples of the drugs that are on each schedule:
Schedule 2: oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin and Vicodin.
Schedule 3: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone.
Schedule 4: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium and Ambien.
Prescription drug monitoring programs are proactive in safeguarding public health and safety while supporting the legitimate use of controlled substances. These programs do not infringe on the legitimate prescribing of a controlled substance by a practitioner acting in good faith and in the course of a professional practice.
However, here comes the concern, and why you should be concerned about the proposed change.
Currently, your prescription data containing your personally identifiable information is contained within this state database. Current law has no provisions for addressing the security of this information. 
Proposed changes to the law allow the state of Wyoming to share your personal information and prescription information with other states with no provisions written into the law to set how the information will be secured, for what purposes it may be used and who can access the data.
Prescription drug monitoring programs pose a serious risk to medical privacy by allowing law enforcement to access confidential medical records without a warrant based on probable cause, which may be in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Wyoming lawmakers are proposing to share your personal medical information, without safeguards, with other states that may not value your privacy like we do in Wyoming.
Currently in Wyoming, by law, criminals and their arrest histories have more protection than your private medical prescription records. See Wyoming State 7-19-101: protections include security of records, privacy of records, dissemination of records, auditing of records and inspection of records. None of these protections are written into Wyoming law governing your prescription records.
It’s important that you contact your legislators and let them know you value your privacy and especially so when it comes to your prescription medical records. The current law needs to include provisions that protect the use and dissemination of this most private information. (

Steve Myrum is a Cheyenne writer.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

If Mayor Orr is able to strong-arm Frontier Days, every other nonprofit event in the city will be targeted

“This really reeks of extortion. When you conditionally put something on somebody and hold a gun to their head, that they have to have something to operate, you’ve not giving them a chance to negotiate.” — State Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, to Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr at Senate Travel Committee meeting, Feb. 18


Let that quote sink in. 
A state senator literally told the chief executive of the city and its police chief that they may have been involved in a crime. But since it’s government, who will bring charges, the extortion victim in this  case, Cheyenne Frontier Days?
At issue was Orr’s to hold onto a liquor permit much-needed by CFD until it met her strong-arm demand
Cheyenne Police keep an eye on visitors at Frontier Days.
that it pony up money to pay for police protection during the annual event.
Here is her response to Driskill: “Yes it was a threat. Either they help pay for the services that they are receiving or the (police chief) would not sign off on the beverage permit.”
To muddy the waters more, the current city attorney used to work for the Attorney General’s Office, and the lobbyist for CFD is the former attorney general. 
If there was ever a good ole boys vs good ole boys title bout, this is it. 
The question at issue: Can CFD follow its current course of selling alcohol under IRS rulings for a non-profit 501(c)3 organization by legislative action or is this under the hat of a for-profit entity? 
On the other hand, should the Cheyenne Police Department be using its Facebook page to agitate the populace under the guise of public safety, calling out entities it deems as threats when it doesn’t get its way. Now a poll showing that CFD is the arch nemesis of the Boys in Blue.
The whole thing is a fiasco. And I’ve been getting texts all week on the topic from both camps. Some examples: 
 — Just read the CFD liquor permit story. (CFD official) Hirsig talks about the State Fair as if it's a "private nonprofit." It's NOT. Remember that the employees (including temps during the season) are state employees, operate under state statute, on state property, now reporting to a board appointed by the governor and therefore the state is liable for all. 
—  The insinuation that CFD shouldn't be subject to local ordinance is misdirection at best, imo.
—   This recent dust-up from the police and charging for protection is ridiculous. That poll really pissed me off. He is using liquor permits to extort the money. It’s gotta be illegal, right? How one man can have so much power and not be in an elected position is beyond me.
—   You know, I did a ride-along with a CPD officer during CFD a couple of years ago, hoping to do a story about how busy officers are during the event and how the city has to foot the bill. But there was barely anything to do. We literally drove around for three hours and handled a call far away from Frontier Park. So I really wonder how much truth there is to the fact that CPD just has SO MUCH TO DO during CFD. I still think CFD should pay for its own stuff, but I'm just saying that I think the department overstates how much of a burden it is.
—  In regards to the CFD-CPD thing, the mayor has finally found an issue where the local public opinion is probably on her side. She’s going to play that card for all it’s worth. It’s an election year and she hasn’t been on the “right” side of many issues. But with this one she can at least campaign on standing up to CFD. I’m sure you know that Frontier Days is far from universally loved here, although that fact is rarely publicly voiced. Doing so would violate the Cheyenne version of “politically correct” speech.
Another of my more intelligent friends stated it this way:
“C'mon, man. The police chief doesn't live anywhere near Cheyenne and the rest of the state already thinks the city is a joke. Don’t let it take up rent-free space in your mind. It is a bunch of crap, but there's no reason to get worked up about it. It's way above our pay grade” 
But this is what worries me: Is the precedent being established? If the city can bring CFD to heel, where does it stop? 
City Hall just took out the big guns, the money, the influence, the Cheyenne tradition. If CFD loses this fight, all those other events we’ve been promoting will be paying out the nose until they just fade away. Think of the increased fees for 5Ks, Stride Rides, etc. Even the Womens Sufferage March was going to be fleeced. 
It irritates me thinking of all those Homeland Security grants that were pitched for surveillance and enforcement for CFD and now we need more money from them to have more boots on the ground. Bring up the Las Vegas shooting all you want; this conversation about CFD paying its share for security was happening before Orr took office. 
I support CFD offsetting costs, but I also agree with Sen. Glenn Moniz, R-Laramie, “All of these numbers make sense. It’s just the way you went about it.” 
I’m no lover of CFD, and this battle has me debating myself on what I hate more: Cheyenne tradition or the Orr government. It’s ying and yang to me, and the small guy always loses. Whoever holds the gold makes the rules. 
Maybe my friend is right to remind me, “Don’t forget closed wounds harbor pestilence when licked from within.”

            Richard Johnson is a former council member from Cheyenne’s east side.