Our View – Wanted: more statesmen

We as a nation are sorely in need of more statesmen: that rare breed of elected official who believes in doing the right thing, no matter the consequences. This does not just apply at the national level. Even in the small towns of Wyoming, progress is made when statesmen take the reins.

This is why we were so proud to see our councilmen step up last week on the garbage issue. Despite failing to find support from Crook County’s other entities, Sundance and Moorcroft made the decision to push ahead with a solution on their own.

As several of them stated during that conversation, what matters is not whether those individuals are re-elected. It’s that they make the best decisions possible on behalf of the people they serve, using all the information available to them.

Of course there will be some who disagree with their decisions – that’s only to be expected when we are dealing with a problem that affects people from several different walks of life. Of course the possible solutions will each suit some more than others – unfortunately, life is seldom a one-size-fits-all deal.

But one thing we can all agree on is that there does need to be a solution. Within the next few years, the garbage situation is going to change for all of us, like it or not, and it’s unlikely to change for the better. Staring at our feet and waiting for the answer to appear is not going to stop that from happening.

Through the efforts of the joint powers board that was convened to tackle the garbage problem, due diligence has been done. Those Sundance and Moorcroft councilmen who spoke up last week know what possibilities are out there and have thought long and hard about the best direction for the county as a whole.

As more than one councilman pointed out, it’s really only in Sundance and Moorcroft that the effects are making themselves felt. Things don’t seem so bad yet out in the county and in the other towns, so it’s been hard to convince people that tough times are coming.

And so, the two towns are taking the bull by the horns and forging ahead with the solution they believe is both necessary and the best choice for their citizens – and the citizens in the rest of the county, if those entities choose to come on board. They are doing so knowing that they face opposition from some and apathy from others, and we applaud that as admirable.

We hope the other Crook County entities will follow their lead. We understand it’s early days for the other towns and the county; the specters of price hikes and finding a place to haul have not hit quite so hard yet as they have in Sundance and Moorcroft.

But it won’t be long before they do, so we urge our elected friends to have the foresight to be prepared. The garbage problem affects all of us, but together we can fix it far better than we could alone.

Here’s the thing about statesmen: they are often proven right in the end. In this case, it’s going to take stubborn determination to move things forward, but we have faith they will keep showing us their steel. And for that alone, they’ll have our votes come election time.