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Don Amend

The county clerk’s recent decision to charge for online access to public records and the protest it drew from Realtors and others is an example of the many dilemmas faced by elected officials as they try to provide services with limited resources.

The right of the public to access some public records is a given, and it is particularly important to real estate agents and others who deal with property sales. But others, including the media, may make use of that access as well.

April 26, 2011 7:07 am

AMEND CORNER: Once in a lifetime

Last Sunday was a rare occurrence.

Easter Sunday fell on April 24, a date it hasn’t occupied since 1859. In fact, according to a website I found, it’s only the fifth time Easter has fallen on that date since the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

With the battle over the federal budget continuing in Washington, it’s easy to forget that, closer to home, government budgets are just beginning to be written for the next fiscal year.

Over the next few months, budgets will be developed and adopted by Park County and the City of Powell as well  as the school district, the community college district and numerous special districts.

Cool weather and precipitation over the past week have kept the snowpack in Wyoming well above average, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service has issued a high water notification for most of the state.

The snowpack in every basin in Wyoming increased last week, and the state’s average snowpack rose from 122 percent of average last week to 129 percent this week. A year ago, the average snowpack in the state was 77 percent of average.

The Powell High School stadium will be moving north following action by the District No. 1 school board Tuesday night.

The board voted to authorize the district to begin planning for the move following discussion of alternatives presented by Todd Wilder, coordinator of support services for the district.

Powell Panther wrestler Randy Andrews took on top wrestlers from around the nation and brought home a 3-2 record from a prestigious national tournament at Virginia Beach, Va.

Wrestling at 160 pounds, Andrews was among 67 high school juniors competing in the bracket during the three-day tournament. Nearly half of them had medaled in state tournaments and 13 had won one or more state championships.

Cooperative solutions sought

Complicated issues often end up becoming contentious issues, but a meeting in Powell last week went a long way toward preventing that from happening.

At that meeting, the city of Powell, Park County, the Homesteader Museum Association and the American Legion agreed to work together to resolve ownership issues concerning the little piece of Powell that houses Homesteader Museum and the American Legion to the benefit of both entities as well as the county.

April 12, 2011 7:27 am

New management hired at The Merc

The Merc board of directors moved quickly last week to employ a new manager and reorganize the management structure of the store.

Lesli Walsh Spencer will take over as store manager April 18, while Leslie Slater Wilson, who is currently acting as interim manager, will continue with the store as merchandise manager. According to board chairman Sharon Earhart, the new arrangement moves the responsibility for merchandising from the store manager to the buyer. Spencer will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the store, while Wilson will be responsible for merchandise presentation and marketing as well as buying for the store.

I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the weather the past week.

It seems at least some of my fellow Wyoming residents are unhappy about the rainy, snowy, relatively cool — well, maybe a little bit cold — days we’ve had a lot of during the past few weeks.

The coincidental firings of both the director of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce and the manager of The Merc in the same week is troubling.

Both positions have been unstable in recent years after long periods of stable leadership. Kim Dillivan, who was hired only last spring, is the third director of the chamber since 2007, and JoAnne Anderson is the third manager of The Merc to be terminated in fewer than 18 months.