CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cap City News has sent out a questionnaire to those running for local seats in the primary election in August. The following are the answers from Lynn Storey-Huylar, who is seeking election for a seat on the Cheyenne City Council in Ward II. Answers are edited only for clarity and style.
Who are you? (Name, where you’re from, employment, hobbies, etc.)
My name is Lynn A. Storey-Huylar. I was born and raised here in Cheyenne and I graduated from Cheyenne East High School. I obtained my bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in Social Work (BSW). I have worked most of my career in social services, working with child abuse and neglect. I currently am the director of Safe Harbor, a children’s justice center where I am also the dedicated Child Forensic Interviewer of children who have been abused and neglected. I am married to Robert Huylar and he is a retired Officer with the Air Force/Wyoming Air National Guard. We have three adult children in Brad, who is a pharmacist; Megan, who is pursuing a dental hygiene degree; and Ryan, who is pursuing a special education degree. I am passionate about this city. I grew up here, have long family history and roots and want to see our city thrive.
Why have you decided to run for office and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?
I am very passionate about small business. I want to find ways to support the development of small business, including making it easier for home business and neighborhood business and attracting more downtown businesses. Lifestyle amenities are why people come here and stay here. I am also very concerned about affordable housing. The city is landlocked. We don’t have much room to expand; however, we do have opportunities to grow up with two- and three-story housing and also revitalize some old existing buildings for loft-style housing. We have to work with the county on all the pockets of new development as one day they will be annexed into the city. It is vital that we have good relationships with the county commissioners. We also have to look at the social problems we as a city have, such as homelessness, high crime and drug and alcohol issues. They are a must to keep our city safe. Transportation is another issue needing to be addressed. Currently, we do not have a fully functioning city transportation system. This is a problem for city residents who rely on this for work and amenities such as getting to the grocery store.
How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
I am a big believer in working collectively to solve issues. We need to strategize and find individuals and groups who can help us on all the issues I mentioned above. We need to have round-table discussions, have public forums for public impute and we need to constantly be reevaluating how we are doing. Relationships with the county commissioners is a must. We need to develop relationships by having work sessions, retreats and regular communication.
What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
I was on the Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees for eight years. I was elected for two terms. While on the board, I was also the Chair of the Board for two years. I also hold various other positions in my field as well. I am a governor appointee on the Children’s Trust Fund Board, I am the chair of the Wyoming Children’s Justice Act Task Force Board and I am the chair of the Wyoming Chapter of Child Advocacy Centers. I am also the Young Women’s President of the Youth in my church ward.
Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?
As a director of a nonprofit organization, I know what it takes to be a good steward over money. My nonprofit receives various dollars which I have to account for and be a good steward over. The trust of those funding sources is on the line. I will bring that same set of standards and expertise as an elected official. I will ask critical questions. I will want to know how those dollars are being spent and if they are in line with the funding requirements. I am not afraid to look at every dollar and see if the expense is just and needed.
On the issue of transparency, where do you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?
Transparency in government is a must. Lack of transparency breeds mistrust by the public. It leads people to believe you are hiding things and this creates contention. Openness in our communication, in our dealing with the finances and in our decisions is something I will always advocate for. As I was an elected official on the LCSD1 board, I am knowledgeable about open meetings laws and conducting the public’s business in an open manner. I am here to serve the public, not exclude the public. That you can count on.
Do you believe the office or board position you seek has been open and honest with the public? If yes, how can the entity remain open and transparent when conducting public business moving forward? If no, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?
For the most part I believe the Cheyenne City Council has an open working relationship. Could things be better? Of course they can. With the advent of technology, we need to always utilize ways to televise meetings and have availability for questions online. I want to see more work sessions and public forms outside of just the business meetings as well.
If you were presiding over a meeting and a topic was being discussed that you didn’t fully understand, would you ask for a more detailed explanation during the meeting or would you seek the information after the meeting?
That question is tricky. If you are prepared — as you should be — for the meeting, being surprised by an issue should be relatively rare. However, I am of the opinion that if I don’t understand, then yes, I need to ask clarifying questions. But back to my first statement, a councilmember must be ready for meetings. Taking up the time of the council to ask questions that should have been asked prior to the meeting is a waste of time as well. I will do my homework, do my research and be prepared for the meeting in advance.
Should you be elected, or reelected, do you plan on seeking any major policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If no, why not?
Since this would be my first year in office, I would say no, I would not be seeking any major policy changes. That being said, I will be listening to my city and my ward and if and when changes need to be made, I will advocate for them and work with the other councilmembers to address any changes for the betterment of the city.