Wyoming Liberty Group
Boyd Wiggam and Glenn Woods discuss free speech protection for flyers that some people and business sometimes place under automobile windshield wipers and a recent attempt by one Cheyenne City Councilman to prohibit placing flyers (a.k.a. Handbills) on automobiles.
Courts repeatedly strike down City Ordinances that violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. This is true even when cities try to justify censorship as a way to improve aesthetics, or fight litter. Even in Wyoming cities are willing to trample on free speech rights. As recently as 2013, the City of Cheyenne had to pay litigation costs in its futile attempt to censor political speech by its ham-fisted regulation of yard signs. The City of Laramie quickly repealed its own political yard sign regulations shortly thereafter.
The Cheyenne City Council’s decision about allowing a retail liquor license owner to sell his license to Cheyenne’s Sam’s Club is about more than liquor policy. It is really a referendum on whether Cheyenne is open to business. Perhaps not. The Council Finance Committee recommends that the Council block the sale. This is a signal to investors that the City is willing to flex its muscle to protect favored locals at the expense of outside investors.
Reestablishing chickens in urban backyards has become something of an American trend in recent years. Wyoming cities are no different. Both Casper (2015) and Laramie (2014) adopted ordinances allowing residents to keep chickens, among other animals, in recent years. The Cheyenne City Council has now adopted its own urban chicken ordinance. If other Wyoming cities and towns plan to follow suit, their governing bodies need to focus on creating a balance between protecting private property rights and expanding individual freedoms.
Cheyenne has a housing supply and affordability problem. Housing is scarce and expensive relative to household incomes in the area, but current regulations force developers to add unnecessary costs in the name of “aesthetics” to satisfy the architectural taste preferences of regulators. Boyd Wiggam and Doug Randall of KGAB discuss the City Council's rejection of a deregulation proposal that would have saved money for families on a 5-5 vote—even though the regulatory costs are ultimately passed along to the lower-income families that are struggling to find housing that fits within their budgets.
Boyd Wiggam and Chuck Gray of KVOC in Casper discuss the Cheyenne City Council’s refusal to ease the economic burden that aesthetic design regulations for new apartment buildings impose on working families in Cheyenne, even in the face of the significant shortage of affordable, unsubsidized housing in the community.