Letters to the Editor – Sept. 27

The Value of the Crook County Museum Mill Levy…

I am thankful for the .01 mill levy that is designated to keep the museums of Crook County. The county now has three museums that are attractive and open to the public eight hours each day, five days a week managed and operated by three dedicated young men. All have done a superb job the last three years. Before the mill levy was approved by the patrons of the county there was only one museum open to the public with consistent business hours and was located in the courthouse in Sundance. Moorcroft had a museum, but due to lack of funds the museum was operated by volunteers resulting in sporadic operating times. In Hulett, there were many relics in private homes or stored in locked buildings because there was no public place to preserve or display these valued items.

Several years ago a patron and other concerned parties met with the county commissioners to see if it would be possible to set a mill levy each year to be used to operate the museums of the county. The commissioners graciously responded and set up a .01 mill levy. When presented to the public, the mill levy passed by the own voice of the voters of Crook County. Subsequently, the commissioners, along with the county attorney, created a six member board to help facilitate the use of these mill levy funds. This, the Crook County Museum District, was again approved by the public and after being elected this board began their responsibility. Even though it was a challenge, the board now facilitates the operation of museums in the most populated towns within the county. Furthermore, this gives the northeast corner of the state three great museums, adding to the already prosperous tourist industry. It is key to note that the board’s control over these museums is limited as the daily operations are handled by the respective museum foundation boards and the directors.

The Crook County Museum Board’s responsibility is to use the mill levy money for one purpose only and that being to pay the salaries of the museum directors, to pay the utilities and the up keep of the three museums. The board is very proud of the three museums and the asset that has been added to our communities because of the proper use of your money. All this has been accomplished by an elected board working together to reach a common goal, reserving past and future history of Crook County.

When you go to the polls November 6th, vote for the person who best represents the one who will be faithful to the course and needs of your local and neighboring museums.

For me, it has been a privilege, an honor and a joy to serve as a board member from the beginning.

Thank You,

Bob Smoot

Have you visited your local museum lately?


Having read Jennifer Nehl’s letter in the September 20 issue of the Moorcroft Leader in which she prefaced her later scathing remarks by thanking those board members who took the time to listen to the citizens and teachers of Crook County and for their ethics and dedication, I had to smile at her guile. But I’m sorry Jennifer Nehl; your proffering a carrot to the school board will not penetrate their obtuseness in being honest with the patrons they represent. And by now you should realize that this board will only address matters that they deem appropriate and ignore questions asked by their patrons.

And of course, they hid for over two hours in their pet conclave called EXECUTIVE SESSION. I often wonder what goes on in those sessions. Are they playing games? Cards? Poker? Gin Rummy? Clue? Or just finishing their dessert? Whatever they are doing, they blatantly ignored the core issue that you presented in July.

I attended the September 17 meeting but when they went into EXECUTIVE SESSION, I left, not wanting to be ignored for a couple of hours as I was in Sundance. (see my article in the August 23 Moorcroft Leader)

These EXECUTIVE SESSIONS by the board are just a subterfuge for hiding information from public scrutiny! Or maybe they’re just hungry for dessert. Well we citizens are hungry for answers.

But don’t falter Jennifer Nehl. Hopefully your petition might be answered in the November elections with some new board members.

Still seeking truth, as always,

Mr.C … .Richard L. Castello