Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

Candidates discuss economic development

 


Residents running for Green River CIty Council spoke about how they wanted to represent the city if elected.

Lyneen Murphy, a candidate for Ward I, said she moved to Green River 16 years ago and is better known as the organizer for the annual pond and garden tour. She was selected as the outstanding citizen by the Green River Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

“Green River has a lot of issues and some of them are serious,” she said.

Ted Barney is a lifelong resident of Green River. Working as an investigator for the public defender’s office, Barney said he wants to put those skills to use in representing the residents of Ward II. His wife convinced Barney to run for office during a discussion about if they wanted to retire in Green River or move to Ireland. A question posed by his wife, asking if he knew how passionate he was whenever he spoke about Green River, was what convinced him to stay and run for office.

Gary Killpack, running for re-election for Ward III, has represented the ward for the three and a half years. Killpack said he doesn’t have an agenda, but a deep love for the city and wants to give back to the community.

“We, as a family, have a great love for Green River,” he said.

He’s lived in Green River since 1961.

Killpack’s opponent, Ed Paisley, did not attend the forum to recuperate from surgery, according to Rebecka Eusek, director of the Green River Chamber.

Ted York, who is running for Ward II, is seeking re-election to the council position he left in 2012. York served from 2004-2012 and helped bring the Maverick Country Store and Hampton Inn to Green River. He served during the time the Green River Splash Park was built and Art on the Green was started as an event.

“I am very pro economic. I am very pro city employee,” York said.

Allan Wilson, who is running for the Ward I council seat, said the city needs to regain trust with its residents, as well as with the City of Rock Springs and Sweetwater County government. Wilson worked for the city for 35 years, recently retiring as the director of the parks and recreation department. He said he knows and understands the city’s budget and is fiscally responsible.

Talking about improving the economic condition in Green River, Barney said he’s seen the city grow as he grew up. The city’s population tripled during that time, with housing and private industry growing with it. He said the city’s business climate has decreased while other places in Wyoming with smaller populations have had their main streets grow and thrive. He believes the city should work with private businesses to bring businesses back to the city.

Killpack said he’s in favor of economic development, but with caution. Killpack said the city cannot compete with private business and must strive to make the playing field level for businesses. He said he agrees the city should have a second grocery store, but said the city needs to find someone willing to invest in Green River. As far as why people don’t invest in the city, Killpack said he isn’t aware of why they don’t.

York said he’s served on the Sweetwater Economic Development Association’s board as well as another board dealing with economic development. He said there are things the city can do to aid economic development, but needs to work hand in hand with an economic development person.

Wilson said he believes in economic development, but agrees that the city can’t compete with private businesses. He said the city can help foster economic development through helping develop infrastructure, but said the city’s budget is extremely tight and it cannot afford to bring someone in for economic development. He also said he’s not in favor of developing the airport because there isn’t money for the project.

Murphy said the city needs to take care of its small businesses and become more business friendly. She said the city can work with Western Wyoming Community College to conduct a survey to find what developing industries are growing locally and help train people to fill those positions. She said she doesn’t think the city needs big businesses to relocate to Green River, but smaller companies to move in.

 

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