I have filed for an open Sublette County School District #1 Board Seat
Wyoming is in reasonable shape in its education world, but we must keep our eyes on things. The education world outside of Wyoming has changed drastically and much of that change will bleed into Wyoming if we aren't watchful. I have spoken up in the legislature on education over the years, most recently to assert that shuch things as CRT or the 1619 Project are not scholarly works and have no place in Wyoming edcuation. A few legislators then remarked that things that "make us uncomfortable" still have a place in education. The issue is not one of comfort with the topic, it is whether what is being presented to our students is scholarly work. Does the topic enhance the studetns ability to think and draw conclusions from history? Or does it simply cast our past as an evil? Here is a State Report Card by Heritage.org. You'll see that Wyoming needs work. Our School Boards are a rock upon which our system is anchored. I'll work to ensure that and to improve District Schools.
Across my career I served as a teacher for a bit over two years, then Commanding a Submarine is a continual training and education process. In effect I spent a career teaching my crews. Also, I am an FAA Certificated Flight Instructor with over 800 hours of cockpit insruction given and many hours of associated ground instruction. Then during my Navy career, I served in program budgetting. Serving to coordinate between Congress, the Dept of Defense staff, the Navy Staff, and technical program offices for key programs. I have a good skill in looking into budgets and funding streams.
I bring these skills to the table to serve Sublette County.
Many thanks to the people of Sublette County and LaBarge. This campaign was interesting being in a whole new district. I remain grateful for the many blessings of this nation that I spent 30 years defending.
Godspeed to all of you.
Wyoming House District 20
I ask for your vote August 16thStrong Prolife
Strong Pro Second Amendment (NRA-PVF Rating AQ)
Control of State spending
Honesty and transparency in government
These are the basics your Representative must think, say, and do.
An ability to speak and convince his peers is the next requirement.
An understanding that taxes can destroy is equally important. That is the core issue for seniors on fixed incomes.
Preparing our youth to take over the reins is a core responsibility of government. How we treat teachers is reflective of what kind of future our county and state will have.
Sublette County is a western niche in Wyoming. We must keep that vision. Growth will come like it or not… How do we go forward and yet maintain our beauty and western, mountain man, county?
Transportation & communications are key. Equally important is our wildlife and access to public lands. Ranching, hunting, fishing, and winter & summer sports drive our economy. People inbound from less friendly states cause growth we may not like.
Where do you want Sublette and La Barge in a Decade? Statutory underpinnings for counties must support your desires and I will get that into the legislature. This separates me from my opponents.
My commitment to you is that I will ensure your voice is heard in Cheyenne, that honesty and transparency will prevail and that public lands remain open for our use and enjoyment.
Wyoming House District 20
With the Re-Districting Bondurant and Daniel were moved back into Sublette. …And La Barge was brought into the district.
It’s good to be home!
My vision for District 20 is straightforward:
• Keep taxes low – Sublette is among Wyoming’s lowest tax counties
• Put in place those structural things that attract businesses and strengthen our present businesses and ranching
• Take care of our elders and fixed income residents.
• Strengthen Education
Wyoming can keep taxes low by reducing spending. Our legislature has sought to do this but needs more work.
Attracting business gets to three things: Internet, transportation, and the hospital. We must recognize the link between ranching and businesses. Ranchers are hunting or fishing guides, winter sportsmen, or summer wilderness guiding, they’re the ones attracting and supporting these.
Caring for our elders and fixed income people means structuring taxes in such a way that they are not “taxed out of home and hearth.”
Strengthening Education means teachers are professionals. As I see it they are more than “just teachers.” There are many skills beyond the book learning from college, that go with lighting a fire under their students. For example:
• Classroom control,
• Recognizing which students are ahead and which need more work and then tailoring the classroom pace to keep all with “fire in their belly”
• Planning the future classroom pace tailored to each student.
• Translating and tailoring state standards to each classroom and student
• Front line for recognizing students that are in trouble or distress
I served our country for 30 years at sea and in foreign nations. As a private citizen I have been dedicated to serving the people of Wyoming. I now seek to serve as your Representative for House District 20.
I ask for your vote August 16th
Bill Winney for Wyoming House District 20
Republican – House District 20
I am Bill Winney, Republican candidate for Legislature, House District 20. The recent Legislative Redistricting moved Bondurant and Daniel back into the Sublette District. It’s good to be back home. Over the years dealing with the democrats in Wilson and Teton County was interesting. The people of Wyoming are courteous and friendly at their doors and almost never was I faced with a terse “not interested.”
Now being back in Sublette, I will listen and work for you. I believe in these: Limiting government spending, keeping faith with our retirees by initiating a COLA, and getting a hospital for Sublette County.
Beginning about 2005, state revenues from energy began a climb and the legislature found many ways to spend these revenues. Beginning about 2017, Wyoming was in real trouble with the tumble in energy revenues. The follow-on inflation in energy prices gave the legislature a breather as inflation raised revenues. Yet the fundamental issue remains that the legislature has spending problems. I will work to control spending.
I have heard many retirees speak of the lack of a COLA for their pensions. I believe that represents a breach of faith. Over the years I have observed the legislature address pay raises for key employees yet somehow when a COLA is brought up it often just fades away. Our retirees on Social Security have a COLA based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI-W. Over the past 20 years or so this means that stipend has doubled. I will work to get Wyoming to face up to this for its retirees.
Sublette County has been working on a hospital for some years, yet it seems elusive. Our Hospital District board is in the driver’s seat. I will continue to work with them to get this going.
When it comes to transparency I dig my heels in when faced with a liberal-progressive kind of governing mentality. I have done just that in the service improvement district I live in. Beginning in 2013 they found a way to deceive district voters into accepting a rise above the Founding Petition’s limit on taxes. In one legal proceeding they asserted that their minutes did not reflect the deception of a “sort–of special assessment.” However other documents from surrounding meetings did speak directly to that.
Over the years this district has sought to expand its authority beyond its founding petition by simply passing resolutions and such things. They have presented false information in legal proceedings and in legislative testimony. Along the way they have sought to use their powers in support of private issues.
…And along the way I have worked to short stop these and I have faced vandalism, extortion, an arson threat, legal dishonesty, and threats of board action against my property if I continued to push to have the board honor their founding petition and limit their authority. They even put their lawyer up to a lie in front of Wyoming’s Supreme Court.
It is as if a small group of liberal progressives were parachuted into Sublette County and Bondurant. I will stand firm in seeking to limit such a veneer of legality in special districts. There is more to follow in this vein. But be clear: the issue is transparency. The voters of this district deserved an up-front, transparent vote in order to raise their taxes. The board was obligated to be transparent, people deserved a vote if the district was to expand its powers and raise taxes.
I ask for your vote in the August 2022 Primary Election.
Bill Winney House District 20
Below is the link to a forum from October 2020
It will provide insight into how I work.
Star Valley Independent Radio and Internet Forum
Wednesday October 28th
Wednesday night (10/28) the Star Valley Independent hosted a candidate forum for House District 22. It was interesting as jim & I chatted before the start. Both he & I had been bitten by a dog while out campaigning... We faced off with Duke Dance of the SVI for about an hour.
In a recent letter to voters, I may have worded something poorly.
I stand strongly for Multiple Use of Public Lands.
For the coming General Session, I am very concerned that, given the heavy emphasis on budgets, Multiple Use of Public Lands could be forgotten in the rush. This would then expose these lands to a low level run on the access of the public to them. I will keep my eye out for such a run and will ensure people will know of it and in turn I will work hard to prevent any limits on public access and useage of public lands.
I have spoken with the AMPL Executive Director, Amy Edmonds, and clearly understand the issues and will stand strongly for legislation in support of the AMPL Goals.
I stand Four Square behind our current system as supported by AMPL (Advocates for Multiple USe of Public Lands).
I will be your Bulldog in Cheyenne
I was made aware just today (10/21) of a newspaper ad designed to trash me. The false information in it is legion. What this really shows you is that I am that Bulldog a friend has called me. I have taken on corruption. The Marines say that it's not size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog! I will stand tall for HD-22 in Cheyenne in these truly draconian budget times just as I have done here.
Note: This board stonewalled a request to inspect their records for nearly 18 months. This was in violation of statute. They only allowed an inspection of records on the order of a judge.
Once I recognized a pattern of vandalism, I began filing police reports. Once these vandals realized I was doing that the vandalism stopped.
bill conley speaks in his ad of a "common sense" resolution. What hogwash, early in the legal wranglings the district’s lawyer approached mine about a settlement. So I, and my lawyer, prepared a proposed settlement and sent it on. We were met with… Silence. So when they complain about the costs, in the vein of common sense, they had an opportunity to minimize the money. Common sense says they would have taken advantage by at least negotiating. Instead they chose to engage in “LawFare” seeking to drive up my costs (and theirs).
Thanks for stopping by our house yesterday. It was a pleasure to [meet] you!
He stopped in at the house the other night! Very nice guy!
A glorious Bondurant sunset.
Susan Riggs, Daniel, Wy
"Folks. This guy is the real deal. We need him. Thanks for running Bill and you have my vote!!!"
5th Generation Wyoming Family
Hoback Junction, 24 September 2020
La Velle Van Voast
I support Bill Winney as candidate for the House District 22 House seat in Sublette County. Bill acquired a great deal of experience while serving in the United States Navy and he uses the knowledge and skills from his professional career as he serves as a volunteer who attends the Wyoming legislative sessions.
I most admire Bill for his selfless commitment and dedication to the state of Wyoming as a resident, volunteer, and speaking up in Public Comment in front of committees. I met Bill during the legislative sessions and observed his tireless efforts to speak out in various committees about the issues that matter most to him. He is an excellent example of a concerned and caring Wyoming resident.
Over these past two years, the public and I have had the opportunity to observe Bill’s dedication to the great state of Wyoming. His honest, pragmatic, and hopeful insight into our state’s problems and needs, and his willingness to examine the issues and listen closely during legislative committee meetings, sets him far apart from other candidates' expected techniques and talk. I am writing today, with proud enthusiasm, to express my support for his campaign as a candidate for the Wyoming House of Representatives and my intention to spread word to others of the value of his policies and abilities.
La Velle Van Voast
Resident, Cheyenne, WY
Note: La Velle Van Voast is a woman I crossed paths frequently with as I attended our legislature's sessions and committee hearings. She is a long time observer and keen critic of those who speak in Committee Hearings. Her words of support are gratefully appreciated.
News & Guide Candidate Article
12 August 2020
The below article, published Wednesday, 12 August 2020, is so short as to at best skim over much of what I’ve done over the years. That happens in the world of print journalism where space can be limited. I'd like to expand on the article.
In attending our legislatives sessions and selected Interim Committee Hearings I have spoken up for the people of Wyoming. Initially I selected bills of interest to me. Then I began to speak up in Public Comment. I’ve found our legislature is so structured that a private citizen who speaks clearly and keeps it short can in fact influence what our legislators do. See Rep Landon Brown's Letter of Support under the On the Issues Tab.
Once I realized that I could directly contribute to their deliberations, I started following bills closely. For example I have followed, and spoken on, our Wyoming National Guard Challenge Program. This program is for HS dropouts and has a really good success rate in getting them to a diploma. It has been on the cutting table over the years. I believe it has fared well as those cuts came through. Our youth are the future, ensuring they are educated so they can compete is vital.
In the realm of education I have observed struggles on how to include computer science into the curriculum. I had observed the Committees over several years. I finally proposed a method of spreading it over the entire curriculum that made the “Shoe-horning” of another course un-necessary. The Committees liked the idea and the Wy Dept of Ed fleshed it out (a lot of work by them by the way to develop this). This came out of several years of attending Committee hearings and Interim Committee Hearing where I listened to the struggles. I realized that they needed a way to look at the problem another way.
I have now begun paying a lot of attention to the Multiple Use deliberations. From my perspective preserving Multiple Use is preserving the Soul of Wyoming. I will stand for Multiple Use.
I have observed the budget process for some 6 years. I have been distressed as $900M plus was repeatedly taken out of savings. I have observed what I believe to be a laying of groundwork for an income tax. I believe that would fundamentally alter Wyoming and will oppose it.
I stand for the people of Wyoming.
Your Voice Matters.
This article only skims the surface, here's the link to the entire article. Please email me (email@example.com) or call me (307-413-1506) and let me know your ideas and vision of Wyoming’s future. I will carry that to Cheyenne and turn it into reality.
By Billy Arnold, JHN&G, 12 August 2020
"Bill Winney, Republican, House District 22"
"Perennial candidate Bill Winney, a Navy veteran and Republican from Bondurant, is back on the horse this year, running unopposed in the primary to address three priorities: education, the state budget and preserving multiple use of public lands.
"The state is projecting a $1.5 billion revenue shortfall over the next two years, and Winney said bringing things back into balance would require a mix of cutting spending and increasing revenue. The candidate, who managed budgets for the Submarine Launched Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program and the Sea Lance ASW Standoff Weapon, said he would like to start on the spending side, but carefully.
" “We’ve got to be careful about ‘reducing expenditures,’” he said, “because that’s probably going to mean real people, either being furloughed or losing jobs.
" “You can’t cut your way out of it,” he said.
"On the revenue side of the equation, he said he doesn’t support an income tax but could get behind an expanded sales tax because it doesn’t bring bureaucratic overhead and “it’s not that difficult to change later on.”
"Winney also said that in the state’s dire financial situation it’s vital to “protect the classroom” (teachers and other supporting staff) but he thought cuts, if needed, could come from administrative overhead."
Breakfast in Wilson
Talked alot, some Cowboy Poetry... and a little politics... Along the way saw this guy. He was taking a small drink from the puddle and then ambled on down the road.
Tonight's Bondurant Sunset - Friday 7/24
This looks through trees burned in the Roosevelt Fire and is looking west-northwest. The Wyoming Range brings fire to the sky on many nights.
"Citing Educational Risks, Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen"
"Younger children in particular are ill-served by remote learning, according to a report issued by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine."
There is much discussion on whether and how to re-open schools. This article from the science pages of the New York Times discusses the downsides of keeping schools closed along with the protective measures that should be put in place in order to re-open schools. The Wyoming Department of Education has provided guidance on how to re-open our schools for the use of local school boards (see below). We need to get on with this, it is clear from the scientists cited in this article that the downside of remaining closed is far greater than many perceive.
July 4th, 2020
A Time to Celebrate, A time to Reflect
A time to celebrate our freedom, we are a nation that people aspire to be part of. They vote with their feet. But, as the saying goes, Freedom isn’t Free. It takes work, scanning the “horizon” for threats and those who’d silently subvert us.
I chatted with one of the Chaplains that our legislature has visit during sessions. He was from a church south of Rawlins. As we spoke he talked of the difference between Free Choice and the freedom to choose. It took me a few minutes to click in to the difference. Our creator endowed us with many things and Free Choice is central to our humanity.
It leads us to seek things greater than ourselves, but it also leads to more base motivations.
The outpouring of self-righteous loathing we see in our nation today is deeply troubling. The willingness of media to label obvious vandalism as a protest protected by our Constitution is deeply troubling. This can only be a political design.
I have long marveled at the indomitable spirit of our nation. As a CO on two Navy ships my most difficult job was to figure out how to stay out of the way of my crews. They always amazed me at their ability to perform “above and beyond.”
An Indomitable Spirit
Ron & Alice are rebuilding their home that burned in the Roosevelt Fire of 2018. They are using lumber recovered from the burned timber on their land. It will take time but they’re on their way.
They set about rebuilding and along the way bought a portable lumber mill. They are using fire damaged logs from their property. It will reflect the history of the fire... and save some real money! You will also see Alice "Supervising" from the porch of their Temporary cabin.
So where is our nation headed? This bout of self-hatred will run its course. It is incumbent on the judges of our “Second Estate” to hold responsible those people that did the vandalism. Our leadership must support those who run to the danger: law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS, military. It is a very, very human motivation for some to run toward danger. We must steel ourselves to acknowledge that as a core element of human behavior and honor those who make such sacrifice.
May Godspeed our nation as we rebuild.
Superintendent Balow Briefs School Re-opening in the Fall
From The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
CHEYENNE – Lunch in classrooms, widespread hand sanitizer stations and face coverings are just a few of the features Wyoming students can expect to see if the state’s schools return to in-person instruction this fall.
The Wyoming Department of Education’s initial framework to reopen K-12 schools, which was released Wednesday afternoon, requires districts to prepare for three possibilities: fully open facilities, fully closed facilities and a hybrid model somewhere in between.
If buildings are open to students, procedures for social distancing and face coverings will be followed “to the greatest extent possible,” the plan states.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said much of the decision-making outlined in the plan, developed by health and education experts across the state, will be left to local communities.
“Health officials, school boards, educators, parents and students will make informed decisions in the coming weeks,” Balow said. “Communities know best how to address your own unique challenges.”
Statewide, school districts have been asked to submit a plan to the education department by Aug. 3 that accounts for all three potential scenarios, with a focus on four areas: communication, safety and wellness, school operations, and instruction and technology.
The guidance released Wednesday largely includes recommendations for district administrators to consider in their plans, though it does entail a few across-the-board requirements for each scenario.
For example, if they reopen, schools must have a plan for students to safely enter and exit the building, “whether limiting the number of entrances open or requiring specific groups to use specific entrances.” Parents would also be expected to screen their children daily for COVID-19 before allowing them to attend school.
The recommendations, while not yet official procedure, provide further insight into what school could look like this fall. Under the nutrition guidance, one recommendation is to “serve students in their classrooms/pods/designated areas, rather than in cafeterias or common areas” and “provide water sources other than water fountains.”
The plan also included a framework for if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. The person testing positive would enter into self-isolation, and “other students and staff members who came into close contact with the positive case will be quarantined for 14 days, or as otherwise directed,” the plan states.
“Schools or buildings could also be closed by state or local public health directive or order for a 2- to 5-day period (or longer, if conditions warrant) to sanitize the facility and to conduct an investigation,” the plan reads.
Students who are more at risk of contracting the virus, or who live with someone who is, will be eligible to receive remote education, according to the framework.
Following the closure of school buildings across Wyoming this spring to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Balow acknowledged the loss of in-person instruction will be an issue to grapple with “for years to come, especially in the area of early literacy.”
“I would anticipate that in the coming months, we in Wyoming ... will double-down on our focus on brain-reading instructions, so that our youngest learners can get the interventions they need to make up for the lost time,” Balow said.
At the local level, the Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees could discuss its specific reopening plan during its next meeting, set to be held virtually at 6 p.m. July 13.
Four Key Legislators Discuss Wyoming's Revenue Future
Sens Driskill & Bebout, Reps Sommers & Nicholas
The revenue future is bleak, no surprise there. These legislators discuss Wyoming's future.
Consider: if every state employee was sent home, the reduction in expenditures would be about $877M. For perspective the past two Budget Sessions the Legislature took over $900 M out of savings. So where do we go from here? One thing they seem to like is the 1¢ increase in Sales Tax. Does that fix things... no, but it helps. ...And it kicks in quickly. A 1% sales tax would bring in about $300M...
Look at this Wyoming PBS show where these four legislators talk through the issues facing us. Note that Education is mentioned as having to absorb reductions, although quietly said.
Stopped by Alpine Saturday Morning (6/13)
Stopped by Alpine Saturday Morning (6/13) to have coffee and chat. Visited with Nancy & Roger Calhoun. Good talk. If you see me around over coffee and have something you want your Representative to do, sit down and talk.
The Red White & Blue Cafe was busy...
Stopped in at Hoback Jn to talk with Bill Rode. He was "cutting the grass." His horse was in need of "Green Therapy." Good talk.
Sublette Ranchers: Lawsuit could run them out of busines
In this case a lawsuit regarding grizzly bears purports that the bears are being harmed and that the ranchers must stop grazing on lands used for nearly a hundred years. This article from Wyoming Public Media outlines the issues. My hope is that the information these ranchers need was collected, analyzed, and archived for just this kind of case.
The State Money Issue
I have observed our legislature for several years now. I have been very concerned at the budgeting process in that they have always retained the current level of spending while taking money out of savings.
Governor Gordon acknowledged that the chickens have come home to roost with his Thursday (6/4) Press Briefing. State revenues have just simply cratered. The cancellation of major rodeos across the state have far reaching revenue impacts by the related spending of tourists, hotels, meals, and incidental spending. What might have been a small cut in state programs will be far worse.
What one must recognize is that in spending, for example, on schools generally, probably 70% of the budget is essentially a fixed cost. Then there is maybe 20-25% in which there is some flexibility. Finally in the last 5% or so, there is room to cut.
The Covid-19 related loss of revenue to Wyoming coupled with the reality of taking some $900M+ out of savings for the past two budget sessions will cause our legislature to have to cut through that ~5%, well into that 20-25% and maybe into that 70%. What is that 70%? Buildings (& repairs), transportation, heat & lights, classroom materials, desks, food service, etc.
Similar things must be addressed across all other state agencies.
I stand for low taxes and specifically no income tax.
So how will our legislature go forward? Step one will be to root out what lies in that ~5% and get it off the books quickly. This will not turn out to be easy despite the perception that it ought to be easy to find and agree on.
Here's a thought... Some years ago Gov Mead gave some pay raises to key executives... maybe we start there. So how many 25% cuts in executive pay does it take to save one state employee?
I stand for honesty in government and open records. I took on a district and it took 18 months to get them to open their records. Statute is clear: they had some 5 business days and they actually only opened them on order of a judge.
I have had to take on a district that I believe to be dishonest.