Devon Viehman will make housing top issue in run for council

JACKSON, Wyo. — Devon Viehman this week announced her bid for a seat on the town council. The longtime realtor cited her experience as a small business owner, mother, and ties to state lawmakers as reasons she feels she brings a well-rounded perspective to the job.

The time is not only right, says the 38-year-old who grew up in Jackson, it is critical.

“We can’t continue like we have and be a healthy community,” Viehman says of the current trajectory of Jackson as it relates to housing, specifically. “I’m concerned about how our town is growing…or not growing. About housing out locals and service workers. We have to find a balance between private sector and the public; between preserving our heritage and growing smartly. We can do both.”

As a realtor, Viehman is privy to insider info on real estate. She knows how that sector works and drives so much of local economy. She also understands how to navigate the world of politicians at the state capital and in DC.

As a board member of National Association of Realtors, Viehman has had opportunity to work with U.S. Senator Mike Enzi on various issues including poverty rights and housing. She has also been involved with numerous issues affecting Teton County and Jackson while in Cheyenne as a former president of the Teton Board of Realtors, and former treasurer/president of the Wyoming Association of Realtors.

“I have political experience working in a bipartisan manner in the Legislature. So many decisions are being made in Cheyenne that have a big impact on our town and county and I have a great relationship with legislators. That relationship could be beneficial,” Viehman believes.

As far as the world of politics, Viehman has been in it not of it. And, thanks to a lot of preparation, she thinks she is well-suited to hit the ground running on the council.

“I have been doing research for about a year. I’ve been meeting with the former town attorney and people who have done the job,” she says. “Also, I have the skillset and am able to offer a different perspective that isn’t there right now. I’m 38; not young and not old. I was here when we went through the last recession. So, I bring the perspective of someone who has weathered the storm.”

Viehman also points to her board and leadership service as being important stepping stones to office. As a former treasurer, for instance, she understands the budget process.

Above all, Viehman celebrates diversity as a way to achieving the best outcomes.

“I’m a natural mediator,” Viehman says. I’m used to working with all different types of personalities. I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, let’s just get to work and find solutions. Not everybody in the group should think the same way. You arrive at the best decisions that way.”

Viehman joins Pete Muldoon, who will surrender the mayor’s chair to run for council, as the second candidate for town council. Hailey Morton Levinson plans to run for mayor. Jim Stanford has not yet declared his intentions regarding reelection.

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