Roger Connett has announced that he will run for one of the two County Commission seats to be decided at this year’s election. With a strong business background, he hopes to utilize his skills to help the county manage its inevitable expansion.
“My background is in business, construction and mining,” he says, noting that he has owned several retail businesses along with his wife and worked in the construction industry.
“I have also worked in the mining industry, in a uranium mine in central Wyoming and the coal mines over by Gillette. I was an operations manager in the coal mine, a maintenance manager and a human resources manager as part of my development and then I was a mine manager for seven years.”
For the past ten years, Connett has worked for large equipment companies, including as customer support manager for the U.S. and Mexico for Terex Mining. In that role, he was responsible for services across the two countries and employee contracts.
This long experience would serve Connett well as a County Commissioner, he believes.
“I believe I’m qualified because I have an extensive business background – that’s what I’ve done for many years. I’ve worked with and been responsible for large budgets that were anywhere from $15 million up to $100 million,” Connett says.
“I’ve also worked with all the different regulatory agencies as part of being a mine manager and some of the other management positions I’ve held.”
Connett was on the Wyoming State Unemployment Commission for seven years, two of them as Chairman, and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Crook County Land Use Commission. He is on the Northeast Wyoming Economic Development Commission and belongs to the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals.
He has also been on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Mining association for many years, he says, and is Past President of the Mining Associates of Wyoming.
“My background is managing, all aspects of operation and managing budgets,” he adds.
“Currently, I am a business consultant, semi-retired.”
Connett hopes to be elected to the County Commission because, he says, he has a lot to offer in the way of experience and background.
“Crook County is going to grow because of the Rare Element Resources mine, because of Croell [Redi-Mix] and because of the oil boom in Campbell and Johnson Counties. I think that we’re going to see growth, especially in Moorcroft and Pine Haven, as that bleeds over and people are wanting to live somewhere out of Gillette,” he explains.
“That boom has already started – I’ve talked to a lot of people and many of them don’t want to go through another big boom over there, so I see a lot of people looking for a place to go.”
Crook County will see growth one way or another, he continues, and it’s important to do everything possible to manage that growth.
“I think we need to be planning now and I think we need to look ahead at what we’re going to do,” he says.
“My background is exactly that: planning and looking ahead, making sure we’re headed down the right path.”
His goals as County Commissioner would be to plan for growth and ensure the right kind of infrastructure is in place. He would also like to maintain the improvements that have been made thus far and believes road improvement will always be a concern.
“I have a lot of background in that area too – sometimes it isn’t necessarily more money, sometimes it’s looking at the efficiencies and solving some simple problems that help a lot of things,” he says.
“I would look forward to adding my strengths to the people we have in place in the different departments, to manage for that growth and maybe in a little bit of a different way. I’m all about efficiencies and planning.”
Growth, he says, can be a good thing if managed properly.
“Growth will bring additional taxes and that’s good for our schools,” he nods.
“That part of growth is positive because you at least have the opportunity to do new things for the community and the kids.”
Connett encourages members of the community to contact him should they have any questions or concerns or wish to discuss his bid for the County Commission further. He can be contacted on 307-260-3107.
“I’ve been involved in every community that I’ve lived in and I’ve been involved at a state level,” he concludes.
“I think I have the right kind of background and knowledge to do the commissioner job and help Crook County with where we’re headed.”