I am sick and tired of the elected officials wasting my tax money. I am also tired of the amateurish various boards taking liberties with my freedom. I voted for the ones I could, but I don’t trust any of them. Ahh, the battle cry of a few who are mostly uninformed. I think in some cases, trickle-down frustration from national politics is at play here. I spent 10 years on the city council and one year on the city planning and zoning board. Let me describe what I observed from inside the box. I am only speaking from my view on the city, but I think some of this also applies to the county.

Every year, the department heads at the city are given a target amount for their budgets. They spend several months determining the wants and needs. When that part of the process is finished, they all meet and pick apart each other’s budgets, and they are rough on each other. Hopefully they arrive at needs as there is not much room for wants anymore. The city council then meets for 2-4 hour sessions to go over every line item. Those meetings are open to the public. When the budget is approved it has to go through three readings. That is six weeks for the public to comment. It is then posted on the city website. During my 10 years, one citizen showed up one time for the meeting and lasted one day. The comment was made, “I didn’t realize the detail that goes into this process.” Now having said all that, these are your friends and neighbors. The decisions they make affect them as much as you. At $100 a meeting, they aren’t in it for the money. There are no “professional” council people, so perhaps a mistake or two will be made in some minds. The other boards are unpaid, so it actually costs people to volunteer for them.

After council, I volunteered to finish the term of a P&Z member. I did that primarily because of the stories of intimidation I had heard. I did find that in some cases, suggestions were made that obviously put the applicant ill at ease. I did my best to convey that for me, approval of the application should have nothing to do with paint colors, and that is a simplification, of course. After a year, the makeup of the board had changed enough that I resigned. Once again, these are volunteers. To charge them with being amateur is taking no note of their willingness to step up. Decisions are many times subjective, so there will be objections.

There are a handful of people in town, on the Enterprise comment page for instance, who, without accurate information, denigrate the efforts of the boards and elected officials. It has probably been the case throughout history that the guy eating and complaining about the meat took no part in the hunt. Under the cover of anonymous handles, the cheap shots come from many who avoid constructive involvement. I agree with very little of Mr. Vanderhoff’s life view, but at least he has the courage to identify himself. There is not an elected official who wouldn’t welcome a constructive, calm conversation about budgets and procedures. During my 10 years, I received fewer than a dozen calls regarding issues.

The last several contests for city council have been unopposed. Concerted lobbying efforts have been required to come up with a candidate. What happens when we run out of people who are willing to take the written and verbal abuse to volunteer their time? 

Now before the haters start, I grew up here and ran with a genuine desire to serve. I freely admit I made some mistakes with votes when results and further information came in. I am pretty bulletproof. I am a fat old boomer and am close enough to my “sell by” date that negative comments without solutions will be of no concern to me. You may now commence fire.

(Stan Wolz is a former city councilman)

(16) comments

Diana loves Cody

Why does the Enterprise allow people to comment on their stories. When signing up we're agreeing to this "Welcome to the discussion.

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Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article." There is nothing nice or proactive about any of these responses. If this were an isolated incident I'd scroll on by but seriously, that the Enterprise would continually give these fake named people a platform is bad form and bad business... and quite frankly bad for the community. Please quit allowing it.

TJ Schulz

What? Hmm, "Diana" apparently doesn't believe in free speech, yet she reserves the right to spew out her own opinion. Please educate yourself in regards to the 1st Amendment, Ms. Diana loves Cody

J Chris Miller

..."fake named people"...??? are you serious? Is "Diana loves Cody" stamped on your drivers license? I can't tell if you are being sincere or trolling, but thanks for the laugh

ken rhodes

This Op-Ed is dated December, 30th, 2020 and came in just under the wire to be consideration of 2020's Troll of the Year Award. This piece is obviously a drive by - shoot on the run rant to both belittle and infuriate readers. If this isn't correct, then I'd like to ask Mr. Wolz "Stan, why can't you respond to all of these folks, err, victims of your charade? Why are you in hiding? Can't back up the shots you took at us?"...

Jim Jones

Stan, Do you remember your position on the expensive house in Cody that was built onto the right of way? You know, the one the neighbors complained about for a year and the city council chose to ignore the fact is was built eight feet onto the setback and the city couldn't produce a signed, stamped set of plans for it. Your (the city council's) "fix" was to sell the right of way to the property owner who broke the rules. You didn't change your mind until you were embarrassed publicly before the vote to vacate the right of way. If you need more help with your memory in the future, just ask.

stimilus check

whew wee, just read this, both the op ed and the comments. it looks like stan wolz was trolling for comments by cat calling "let the firing commence" and yet, like one of the responses said, it all appears to be a hit and run job. want to persuade this former councilman to shut his peep and go hide? ask stan about forward cody.

inTheNews

Well, along with apparently being proud of empty palaces and no jobs created, I wonder if the writer is also a recent fanatic of 'rap' music?!

Shane Stevens

Judging from a lack of response from Stan Wolz, who challenged commenters to fire away // well // you're wish was answered // but // where are ya, Mr Op-Ed? Cat got your tongue?

PJ Roemich

Wow, Mr. Wolz your silence (lack of response to these comments) is liken to that cut n' run letter to the editor a few weeks ago by the guy who's crowned himself spokesman of the P & Z board. Both of you seem to think that you can just do a drive-by bloviation of hot air and when the comments don't agree with your line of thinking....well, ., buh bye.

Gunrunner Auctions

This is one of the most bizarre op-eds I have ever read. To think that a man who sat on Cody City Council for TEN YEARS and only got ten (10) phone calls is absurd. That means he is totally and absolutely OUT OF TOUCH with the very people he is supposed to represent and provide services for!

When I was on the Cody School Board I would say I received over 1000+ phone calls, emails, visits to my downtown store and people driving all the way up my North Fork home to discuss the issues. I answered every email and spent lots of time face to face with concerned parents. When big issues like the historical revision of some textbooks and resource materials were considered, I would say I got 30 emails a day for months - all were answered at length. When the board considered arming the school staff I got more. I got stopped in the two grocery stores. I got stopped on the street. I spent hours on the FaceBooks and other chat rooms. I got to every board meeting early and went out and sat with the audience answering questions and greeting people instead of sitting at my chair shuffling papers up front. That's called reaching out to the people. That's called being accessible.

Now if this writer only received the equivalent of ONE phone call a year for all ten years of being on the council, he is totally out of touch and/or he doesn't know FaceBook from Twitter (which I'm sure is the case). Now a days (and it's been this way for quite a few years) LOTS of discussions are on social media. If you're not watching that as an elected official, then you sure don't know what the people want.

I never remember this writer (and for that matter our state rep Sandy Newsome) ever having any "town meetings" of any sort where a citizen can actually talk to all of the council without going through the chair on a time limit. Hmmmm....

And I would say this to the former councilman: I am beyond furious at you for allowing Forward Cody to be scammed by so many people posing as "businessmen". Absurd. EVERY Forward Cody proposal must be voted on by Cody City Council. You sir, did NOT do due diligence for ten years and have lost MILLIONS of dollars that we taxpayers own. I hope you get a lump in your chest every time you drive by that big white elephant of a building on the West Strip and Big Horn Avenue and 2AB. That is the total failure of your administration. To allow pirates to come into our town and take it for millions is unconscionable. Horrendous. They put the money in their pockets and bankrupted their companies on OUR DIME. It is all well documented. It is pitiful. And this writer was a part of it. Lock, stock and barrel.

I don't know anyone couldn't see failure after failure as a city council member and not DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I attended the last meeting where there was a recommendation of a Forward Cody "application" and it was pitiful. Let me say it again: Pitiful. The company said they had been in business for over ten years, yet had a ONE PAGE website with information a child could have entered in less than two minutes. The owner of the company could not answer basic questions asked by a concerned citizen. The owner of the company admitted he had no working capital and no employees. I could go on and on. Then the Cody City Council unanimously voted for them. I could NOT believe it. There went SIX MILLION DOLLARS! I don't know where the media is on this either. They too turn a blind eye and refuse to do an investigative story on Forward Cody.

I would also say this to the writer: No one comes to the City Council meetings as they are boring as all get-out and have little substance. When you are allowed to speak there is a time limit and the speaker is never addressed. Hmmm.... I'm a busy businessman in the zenith of my career and I don't have time for nonsense. I'd rather stay at the office and work in the evenings than waste my time.

This writer is acting like during his decade the city ran perfectly. Absurd. Here's another glaring example: This Rec Center. Not a year of this writer's rein did this white elephant not bleed half a million dollars a year and HALF THE TOWN belong to it and it still can't even break even! Something is wrong with that picture! The city can't afford to fund it! It's filthy, never open, loud and extremely poorly run. Why hasn't someone been put in there to run it that can make it break even with 4000 members? Ha! That's as bad a business deal as Forward Cody! Money losers. So it's bleeding off public funds at a tune of $1 million every two years! And more!

With a track record like this in the last ten years I don't know why this writer is pointing his finger at the citizens. The finger out to point to HIM. Glad he's out. Now let's get a water-walker in there who will clean up the mess he made.

I'm not counting on the current mayor. He's too buys kneeling for criminals. The other council members are downright RUDE when they come on social media and won't talk about any issues. They only come alive when it's time to bilk the citizens for a hike in the sales tax. The website the one council member set up was a joke of the first order. They kept repeating: It's only ONE CENT.

Absurd. Tax, tax, tax. Hmmm....

Blair Morrison

Mr Wolz/ you ponder why people do not want to run for office around here. The answer is simple/ the positions only seem to suit the unexperienced, unqualified and those who do not work. Also/ it appears that many of these board and council people have an agenda, just like you did. Stan/you gave 100's of thousands of dollars of OUR money to the forward Cody gang, yet/ here we are 15 years later and stuck with vacant buildings and empty promises. You/ shouldn't be talking down to anyone, Mr Wolz

JT Smith

Wow, Mr. Wolz, kind of amazing that you can see all the way down into the steerage from your high horse!

Jim Vee

Well said. One thing 2020 proved, is well all need to be more involved beyond voting and complaining.

Kyle M Bream

Hmm, since you're taking this opportunity to talk "down" to many of us, Stan, let me give you an opportunity to talk "up" on a certain subject. Forward Cody. Stan, how much taxpayer funds have you funneled to this group while a councilman? What is the ROI (return on investment)? Since you always seem to know more than others, please educate us on how expensive empty buildings controlled by the group do anybody any good? Stan, tell us how many jobs have been created? You seem to be storing up a whole lot of answers, here's the opportunity to share them with the public

DeweyV

Lucky for Wolzie and his extended cabal that I no longer publish my sardonic satire and pernicious parody Cody Boobyprise newspaper . It is certainly not for any lack of raw material to refine.

I wonder who the next nine names on his list of Top Ten Cretins of Cody might be? I was mostly agreeing with his assertions up to the point my name ( and my name only) appeared in patronymic pedantry. Surely he was preaching to the choir about the many depraved gentiles in the congregation-at-large...

Jim Jones

Surely you educated Enterprise staff members caught Dewey's swipe at Mormons, didn't you? You know Stan Wolz is Mormon and you should know that Mormons consider themselves a lost tribe of Israel. Dewey writes Stan was preaching to other Mormons about the depraved non-Moromons. Giving Dewey a platform for idiocy is one thing, allowing him to disparage an entire religion is another. It's no different from saying Jews run all banks. Are you guys really this dense?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
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Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.