Wyoming Liberty Group

We here at the Wyoming Liberty Group strive to bring you the latest information. Please enjoy the blogs and comment on them often.

Boyd Wiggam serves as staff attorney with the Wyoming Liberty Group focusing on property rights, local government, and land use planning and zoning issues. He previously worked as a civil litigation attorney and for various businesses serving farmers and landowners in Laramie County. Wiggam, a Wyoming native, was raised on a farm in Eastern Laramie County , received an undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming, did graduate coursework in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and received his law degree from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He is an active member of both the Wyoming State Bar and Virginia State Bar.

Cheyenne City Administrator Proposal Would Undermine the Influence of Residents

The Cheyenne City Council made some important changes to the proposed City Administrator Charter Ordinance before sending the whole question to Cheyenne’s voters. However, even those improvements are not enough to cure the fundamental ills that plague the council’s the City Administrator proposal. The City Administrator proposal will still undermine the power of citizens over city government if it passes in November 10’s special election.

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Cheyenne Citizens Can Still Protect Separation of Power in City Government

Our founding Fathers understood the importance of an independent executive branch of government. The Cheyenne City Council however, is preparing to ask citizens to vote on a City Charter amendment that would create an appointed administrator to replace the independent, strong mayor for most executive functions. The appointed City Administrator would answer to the City Council—not directly to the voters. This would concentrate almost all the power of local government into the legislative branch and lessen the accountability of government to the people. The City Council is barreling ahead with a special election to ram this change through, but citizens still have time to fix the proposed charter amendment or defeat the power grab entirely. Sheridan’s citizens were not so fortunate earlier this year when the Sheridan City Council decided to start the process to create a City Administrator position without a special election.

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Bike Plan is a Special Interest Assault on other City Residents

City planners and other advocates of traditional neighborhood design should not be so quick to remove residential curbside parking to accommodate dedicated bicycle lanes in older neighborhoods. Like many government “solutions,” the proposed cure is worse than the original problem. This is particularly true for Cheyenne’s debate about bike lanes along Carey Avenue between Lions’ Park and Downtown.

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Supreme Court Strikes a Blow for Free Speech

The United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down a town’s sign regulations in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona because the regulations violated the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. In so doing, the Court reminded Americans and their local governments that First Amendment free speech rights are foundational to our society and government. The court explicitly reiterated that local governments cannot impose sign regulations that treat signs differently based upon what message the sign conveys. Simply put, if someone has to read a sign in order to decide what rules or regulations apply to the sign, then the sign law is presumptively unconstitutional.

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Beware of Smart Growth

Cheyenne area planners, politicians, and selected “stakeholders” attended the Technical Assistance Workshops presented by Smart Growth America on April 21-22, 2015. These workshops were designed to help local leaders understand and implement smart growth strategies and billed as a planning tool to improve fiscal and economic health and sustainability for the City and its residents.

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What Are Taxes Really Costing Americans?

April 15 looms large on the calendar for taxpayers. Don’t be fooled if you get a refund on your federal income tax return. Taxes represent a significant annual expense for many families, especially those that usually pay the United States Treasury, because the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) withheld your money throughout the year.

But IRS withholding is not the only cost facing taxpayers who fill out their tax forms by April 15.

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A Demographic Reality-Check for Downtown Cheyenne

Local government promoters continually discuss how to use tax dollars to revive downtowns. Cheyenne is no different. During the run-up to the 2014 Cheyenne City Council elections, the local newspaper asked candidates what they would do to improve Cheyenne’s downtown. The paper even published a series of articles analyzing Cheyenne’s downtown issues and invited readers to support candidates that promised to do something, such as spend money, to resuscitate downtown Cheyenne. However, Cheyenne does not fit the demographic and economic profile to support the revival envisioned by the local newspaper.

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