Wes Gardner takes a break from gathering signatures to run as an independent in the 2018 Teton County Commissioner Campaign. Indpendents need to gather at least 250 signatures to even qualify to run for office, but Wes feels the legwork is worth it for Teton County. Photo: Nagy Szabolcs Photography.

A message from county commissioner candidate Wes Gardner:

JACKSON, Wyo. — As we close in on this pivotal election, I beg you to please research the candidates for local office.

Look at our websites (mine is gardnerforcommissioner.com), judge our positions and vote for the person you trust to move this community forward.

If you believe in me and my vision, I ask one more thing of you: Please hold me accountable. I refuse to be another local politician promising change and not delivering it.

I run as an Independent because my commitment is to you and to nuanced solutions that represent community wins. I do this despite the fact that running as an Independent is no easy path. In order to enter the race, I personally gathered nearly 300 signatures; this was required of no other candidate. Without the benefit of party recognition, running as an Independent requires more work to share my vision.

With the help of my small but dedicated team, we’ve reached out directly to thousands of Teton County voters, either through phone calls or knocking on your door. If you’ve come home to a #votewes flyer on your door, the odds are strong that I was the one who left it. No one will dedicate more time and energy to serving as your County Commissioner.

I am willing to do this work because I know that Teton County’s biggest problems like affordable housing, traffic, water quality, conservation, funding for mental health and more can only be solved with hard work, dedicated study and a constant focus on developing implementable solutions.

As an independent, I work toward creative, nuanced solutions that take the best of all opinions to create win-win solutions, and when the dust settles, everyone benefits. This commitment requires sweat, hard work and the ability to go beyond surface solutions to address our deeper problems. That’s why my offerings are nuanced and full of details.

My affordable housing plan focuses on collaboration between local governments, non-profits and the private sector to get affordable housing in the ground quickly and efficiently. Only by partnering with the private sector can we hope to attain our goal of housing 65% of our workforce locally. I am comfortable negotiating with developers to ensure that the community receives the necessary restrictions for affordable workforce housing.

Traffic in and around Teton County is bad and growing worse by the season. I continue to ask the tough questions that will not only get traffic flowing more smoothly but will also take traffic off the road through incentives for carpooling and public transportation.

As a START board member, I’ve literally pulled all-nighters figuring out how to create new routes and schedules that will benefit our community and create a more efficient and frequent system for our riders.

As the owner of Teton Toys, I’ve learned how to lead an organization, creating systems of accountability, assessing risk and making difficult decisions. I’ve also learned that my stores thrive when I listen to my customers and employees. I have and will continue to apply these same principles to my public service.

Frankly, I am not interested in the title of Teton County Commissioner. What I care about is having great local representation to move us from where we are to where we want to go. I will work tirelessly with resolve and dedication and in collaboration with all parties to make Teton County a model community for the region.

The clock is ticking on so many of our local and global issues.

  • Our housing situation is growing worse by the day.
  • Traffic clogs our roadways and pollutes our skies every morning and afternoon.
  • The water quality in the valley continues to worsen.
  • Mental health and human services organizations are facing continued budget crises as state funding continues to disappear.
  • Our public lands are under constant threat from developers.

I’ve got detailed, implementable suggestions for moving Teton County forward on these issues. It’s time to elect representatives who not only say the right things, but who do the right things. I hope you will join me in my efforts to give the residents and visitors of Jackson Hole access to being part of the solution.

Please, don’t just vote for the letter next to a name. Vote for the candidate you trust. I hope that once you take the time to check out my platform, you will feel that I am worthy of your vote.

Vote for Wes Gardner for Teton County Commissioner on or before November 3.

Not ready to vote yet? Read more on Wes’s platform: