Wyoming Liberty Group
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.
When local government lawmakers decide to expand freedom and economic opportunity for residents, a good first step is to take an eraser to ordinances that are already on the books. The Cheyenne City Council is taking a step in this direction by chipping away at one regulatory plague on daily life. They propose to repeal an outdated, unused licensing law for bicycles. The City Council will accomplish this rare feat if they approve the agenda item described as:
Local governments in Wyoming have a nasty habit of attacking entrepreneurs. The most recent example of this campaign against economic opportunity is the City of Rawlins’s monopolistic Flow Control ordinance forcing garbage collection companies to deliver trash exclusively to the city-owned transfer station.
Halloween has passed, but it seems zombie bills come back again. One example is Representative Byrd’s Abandoned Buildings bill from the Wyoming Legislature’s 2015 General Session. The abandoned buildings bill was a direct attack on owners of historic buildings in downtown Cheyenne who have struggled for years to find profitable tenants to fill their buildings. The House Corporations Committee rightly killed the bill last session, but like all good zombies, it came back again.
James Madison warned us in Federalist #10 of the violence “a number citizens who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens” can do to liberty. 3,368 voters in Casper just illustrated his point by neglecting to perform their civic duty to stand up for the rights of a vulnerable minority during the City of Casper’s Smoking Referendum Special Election on November 3.