Letter To The Editor: Committee Persons Who Don't Show Up To Meetings Need To Be Booted

Dear editor: [Cowboy State Daily's] article gave the impression (incorrectly) that the removals were motivated by factional politics and that those removed were being treated unjustly. Nothing could be further from the truth.

September 29, 20234 min read

Cody wyoming 9 29 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Dear editor:

We read with interest Leo Wolfson’s article on the 22 Park County Republican Committee persons who were replaced for not attending regularly scheduled monthly GOP meetings.

The article gave the impression (incorrectly) that the removals were motivated by factional politics and that those removed were being treated unjustly. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Committee persons are chosen every two years to represent their respective party’s neighbors within the GOP. The Park County GOP holds regularly scheduled meetings on the first Thursday of EVERY month.

This meeting is to conduct party business, and bring up issues for discussion and debate. An interesting dynamic is that there is usually very good attendance for the first three months after elections leading up to when the Executive Committee (leadership) is elected by the Central Committee. Then participation drastically falls off, especially amongst those committee people whose candidates did not get elected into leadership.

Park County GOP bylaws were amended by a two-thirds majority in November 2022 to address those positions, which are voluntarily vacated by committee persons not showing up, specifically for three months in a row.

A person can be excused EASILY by calling, texting, emailing or sending in a proxy form. It would take less than one minute to inform the County GOP that a person cannot attend and remain in good standing. Instead some just become no shows and effectively drop out.

Our neighbors in the GOP deserve active representation by their committee persons. Most committee persons take the role seriously; however, some seem to treat it as an entitlement or membership in a social club.

The people of Park County have no way of knowing when their committee person drops out and no longer participates. They just assume that their committee person is participating in good faith. If a person failed to show up for work they would be fired.

The bylaw was passed by a super majority of the Park County GOP to address this issue when a committee person does not fulfill their responsibilities to their fellow Republicans in their precincts and the GOP.

Although a roll call vote was not recorded, there was near unanimous consent amongst those present with regard to filling the vacated seats.

The article noted someone “doesn’t find it worth his time to go to many of their meetings."

That is so sad, as much important business gets brought up from the floor, and it is ‘our’ meeting. For example, the last several meetings have involved debates and actions around parental rights.

Senate File 117, Parental Rights in Education, passed the Senate Education Committee on January 24, 2023. However, it did not get introduced as the Wyoming Speaker of the House said it was a local issue.

So, the Park County GOP took it up and there was significant, thoughtful discussion and debate around it, including passing a resolution calling on Park County School Districts to address the issue. Parental rights are not just a Park County issue, but is a leading issue nationally. And it was taken up by our local GOP.

If there are other topics of importance someone wants to see addressed, they can be introduced into the agenda every month. But to do so one needs to show up and participate.

Finally, the article goes out of its way to emphasize current and former precinct committee persons who are, or were former elected officials, that were replaced.

Why does it matter whether someone was an elected public servant? Are not everyday residents of equal importance: ranch hands, oil field workers, grocery workers, retired residents?

The article gives the impression that current and former public servants are some entitled elite class deserving of special consideration from the rest of us. This is just more of the establishment elitism that has infected our country, state, and yes, even Park County.

Instead of complaining about being held accountable for actions (or lack thereof), a more appropriate response would be to embrace old fashioned accountability and humility with an apology to the residents of their respective precincts and the Park County GOP.


Jim Vetter

Cody, Wyoming

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