Council Chronicles 5.14.14
JACKSON, WYO – Rev. Dr. Paul Hayden has brought many to tears over the course of his double-decade run in Jackson. Count the mayor as the latest.
Maybe it was the long day (three back-to-back meetings began at 9 a.m.) but Mark Barron was noticeably bleary-eyed as Hayden gave his final address to the town brigade Monday night after receiving a proclamation honoring the Presbyterian pastor as a hometown hero for his work here on Earth saving souls in the Hole.
The public comment period was commandeered by the great grandson of a man called McClintock (is there a better Western name?). He asked the Council to get behind a formal initiative to name the peak next to Moran after his great grandfather, who was first to scale it. Many climbers already refer to the peak as such but a formal designation awaits park approval, which only comes when pressed by local municipalities. The county has already pledged its support.
Jim Darwiche said he only agreed to remove sidewalk columns in front of his grand new hotel after being bludgeoned into submission by four years of appearing before the scrutinizing eyes of the panel. After his engineers started work on the massive structure, they couldn’t see any way to canopy the entrance without the support of five columns to keep it from tipping over onto the street.
The problem being, columns on a public right of way are in the way. Jim Stanford seemed most adamant about having to dodge posts while walking city streets. He cited the impasse in front of Pearl Street Bagels as a prime example of the bruised forehead syndrome that occurs without proper planning. Then Don Frank opened a can of whoop ass.
“I find this evening disappointing and frustrating. This is old business,” he complained. “I remain very unconvinced a detail as important as this could be left unanswered until this late in the game. Now, suddenly, in the eleventh hour you’ve had this epiphany that you now need the columns?”
Barron has been a fan of any local businessman that has a vision for Jackson. He appreciated the grueling process Darwiche had gone through and was willing to cut the former county commissioner a little slack. Bob Lenz said he didn’t have a problem with the columns in the sidewalk, and that’s saying something. Lenz never met a sidewalk wide enough for his taste.
Darwiche was also seeking approval to build required employee housing offsite. He explained that by combining it with another project, he could do something truly better and offsite. Hailey Morton agreed. Stanford wanted assurance in the form of a bond to make sure it got done. Frank was still sitting on burr.
“In terms of the housing, I can see advantages and disadvantages,” Frank stated. “But a promise was made and this, at best, seems like an end run. I can’t support either.”
In the end, no one could clearly recall why the previous Council had a hang-up about the columns in 2010 when they approved the building. The town reps also believed Darwiche would follow through quickly on building employee housing after he mentioned he would put workers up in plush (expensive) hotel rooms until he could move them into their new apartments.
Darwiche’s request to prop his building up so it didn’t fall on Browse ‘N Buy was granted, as was the offsite employee housing, with Frank the lone curmudgeon.
Snow gun fun
Three contractors responded to the bid request to build an infrastructure water system that would fuel snow guns on Snow King. They all had one thing in common: They screwed up their applications.
One forgot to sign it. Another couldn’t remember their correct name when applying. The third, well, Bob McLaurin said they all botched it but that was no reason to go into a costly redo. He suggested the town waive the mistakes and accept the low bid from Towsley Construction out of California.
Everyone was cool with that although Frank wanted assurance they wouldn’t loosen any boulders and start another
slide in Jackson.