Jessica Stalder responds to ‘Artful Dodger’ article

Maximus Bossarei is my friend. Despite recent allegations in the Laramie Boomerang, I do not have an ownership interest in any of the properties that were the subject of the recent Laramie Boomerang article, nor do I work for him or his company. Further, I was not aware of most of the claims and allegations contained within the article. While I have in the past helped my friend advertise his properties and communicate with a handful of tenants from time to time, my involvement was limited. Now that I am aware- I have encouraged Max to respond to the issues raised by his tenants and I understand he will be taking steps to do that.

I am mindful of my civic responsibility as a council member. I take my duties very seriously. From time to time, I have recused myself due to a personal conflict on matters before the council. I will continue to do that.

Most importantly, I am deeply passionate about my work at Hospice of Laramie. My grandmother passed away in the Hospice House one year (to the day) prior to me signing my contract here. She received excellent care and I endeavor to provide that for all families and patients who put their trust in Hospice. I often hear her, and my grandfather in my head and my heart when I face difficult situations in my life. As always- I strive to make them proud. I am deeply saddened that this has brought negative publicity to Hospice, and would welcome a conversation with any that may have concerns. Maya Angelou said, “You do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, you do better.”

Jessica Stalder

Laramie

We need mandatory rental property inspections

In July of 2020 you published my letter in opposition to mandatory rental property inspections, still reasonable as we should have a zone of privacy in our homes.

The Boomerang's outstanding exposé of Laramie landlord Maximus Bossarei's bad business practices makes it clear that renters could benefit from some city measures.

I suggest that the City of Laramie make voluntary rental property inspections by city inspectors available to owners and tenants, where any owner or any tenant could request a city inspection. Owners would not be allowed to block or delay tenant-requested inspections nor penalize tenants for requesting inspections. Inspectors can and should enforce city code requirements as a consequence of such inspections. Prospective tenants should be able to get an inspection before signing a lease, without being penalized. Requesting a city inspection at move-out may help with deposit issues and double-payment issues like those described by the Boomerang.

There would be some cost to the city to make such inspections available for free, along with some revenue realized when uncorrected code violations result in reasonable fines. The benefits to Laramie's large numbers of renters would be great enough to be worth the cost.

Martin L. Buchanan

Laramie

(Editor’s note: Martin L. Buchanan occasionally writes a local column for the Laramie Boomerang.)

About time!

I really appreciate that the Boomerang has outed this thief. I too was swindled by Maximus Bossarei. I rented an apartment from him for 3 months in the summer of 2018. He promised repairs that never happened, would show up with prospective tenants with little or no notice and, of course, he never returned my deposit even after telling me multiple times that it had been sent. The building was so overcrowded with tenants that often I would return home from work and not one drop of water would come out of the faucet. He seemed nice at first but please don't be fooled by this man because, much like the mouse who agreed to ferry the scorpion across the creek, the sting will come at the end. Thank you so much for writing this piece. Hopefully it will be seen by so many people he will never be able to rent another room in this town because that is exactly what he deserves. In addition, I am going to lobby my representative to introduce legislation that changes the law so that people like this guy cannot simply avoid court by hiding from the process server.

Ron Behnke

Laramie

Time to take down Laramie's 'Artful Dodger'

Thank you Jeff Victor and the Laramie Boomerang for the devastating article regarding slumlord Maximus Bossarei (The Artful Dodger, Sunday, Jan. 24). I came away shocked by tactics this criminal and his well-connected helper, Jessica Stalder, have employed to rip off students and other itinerant individuals in need of housing here in Laramie.

It is my hope that the Sheriff's office and city and county officials take more seriously their responsibility to protect the public from people like Bossarei and Stalder. Their behavior puts a black mark on our community.

Patrick D. Sheehy

Laramie

We don’t need another layer of bureaucracy

This coming Tuesday, the Laramie City Council will give a final reading to an ordinance establishing licensing for, and mandating the use of, general contractors in Laramie. The ordinance will erect barriers to entry for new contractors and raise maintenance, construction, and housing costs for everyone.

While many types of tradesmen (such as electricians and plumbers) have always been licensed, this ordinance will require general contractors to be licensed by the city (a process involving pages and pages of complex requirements and fees). Anyone who, for compensation, conducts "residential and commercial construction-related activities, including building, altering, repairing, or demolishing," would have to be one or hire one.

Under the language of the proposed ordinance, a building superintendent, a rental property manager or owner, a handyman, or even an employee of a business that requires repairs or alterations couldn't simply do them himself or herself or call a tradesman in to do the job. He or she would have to hire a general contractor licensed by the city. If those expensive middlemen — who will reap windfalls from the ordinance — are booked up, as they often are, he or she would just have to wait rather than bringing in a contractor from the county or from Cheyenne.

If this ordinance passes, residential tenants in Laramie will be impacted by higher rents, deferred maintenance, and delayed improvements. Businesses - already struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic - will incur extra, unneeded expenses they can ill afford.

If you operate a business, manage rental properties, live in a rented house or apartment in Laramie, or have any reason to have repairs or construction done as part of your work, it is in your interest to show up at the Tuesday, Feb. 2 Zoom meeting and implore Council to vote down this ordinance. The meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is Meeting #811 2519 3853; the password is 206348. A copy of the ordinance can be found online at https://cityoflaramie.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/9631?fileID=12539.

Brett Glass

Laramie

Why is indoor track singled out?

As anyone who has ever played any kind of sport in their entire lives would know, the fans make a huge difference. When athletes struggle they look to the stands for support. When they succeed there is a huge confidence boost to hear the crowd after that shot at the buzzer, the touchdown, or the photo finish at the end of the race.

Most athletes do not have much of a career after high school. However, we all look back fondly at those memories with our teammates, friends, parents or grandparents attending those games and meets! Those memories are engrained in our heads forever. Those games and meets only happen once. You may play the same team or run the same 400 meter race at a different time but that special moment in time only happens once.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen stadiums empty. Fans in the stands are replaced by paper images of people. For professional sports, they still get to have an audience by national television coverage. For our high school athletes, it’s a completely different story. They just get to look at empty seats. No cheering from the crowd much less the added support system. This fall that was slightly changed to allow two spectators, two tickets for entry per athlete.

With one exception, the Governor’s office has instructed the WHSAA to make sure that only indoor track isn’t allowed to have spectators. Football, basketball, and even band are allowed to have two tickets for their game or concert. Why is indoor track being singled out? These athletes deserve their support system just as much as basketball, football, and band. The current restrictions that the Wyoming Governor has in place is the root cause for inequity.

The Governor’s restrictions should be based on the facility available and should not be a broad spectrum impact across the board. These facilities and their size should determine the impacts of the number of people in attendance. The COVID-19 virus has taken enough of our freedoms. We shouldn’t let it take our once-in-a-lifetime opportunities as well.

Ashley Hauber

Gillette

The sky is falling

I found the outrage expressed by politicians and spokespersons for the extractive industries in Tom Coulter's article of 1/29 "Wyoming leaders criticize moratorium on oil, gas leasing" almost amusing. Yes, the moratorium on leasing will have economic impact across the oil/gas patches here in Wyoming.

If its effects are catastrophic, it is because Wyoming's legislature and our Representatives at the federal level stuck their heads in the sand years ago. The have refused to prepare for an inevitable and obvious future in which humankind is forced to address the causes of climate change. The moratorium is a small step in this effort, one of many small steps. It is not the cause of anything. To claim anything else is disingenuous at best, obsfucation and a lie at worst.

The financial impact of efforts to deal with climate change here in Wyoming was anticipated years ago. The Legislature and DC politicians chose to ignore their responsibility to Wyoming's citizens in favor of the bottom line of extractive industry corporations.

The luminaries quoted in the article are run in circles screaming, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Rather than having planned for the future, when the sky first started falling, they scream, placing blame for a problem of their own creation in the small step of the current administration's moratorium. Rather than recognizing the seriousness of climate change and the effect of necessary efforts to harness it on our State, they politicize, polarize, blame and act all disgusted.

If they were really concerned with the effects on workers, they would have passed legislation years ago to support transition from jobs in the oil patch to other careers. They would have made sure these 1000s of Wyomings families did not have to fall into economic destitution or leave the state.

What keeps their outrage from being amusing is their posturing hurts a lot of Wyoming's citizens. Oil, gas and coal are passing out of our realities. Deal with it. Plan for it. It's not too late, I hope...

Jeffrey J Olson

Laramie

Governor Gordon’s great paradox

It must be difficult to call a press conference and suggest that President Biden’s ban on gas and oil permits is a “crushing blow” to Wyoming, when not so long ago, Mark Gordon was aligned with some of the most radical environmental groups in the country whose mission was to destroy fossil fuels.

Now that he is largely responsible for balancing Wyoming’s budget, I wonder if he has started to realize how important fossil fuels are to Wyoming and its people. It is hard for me to discern if he is regretful of his past alliances or silently joyous that the end of fossil fuels is possible.

I find it interesting that Middlebury College in Vermont, a liberal arts college where he received his education, established in 1965 the first undergraduate Environmental Studies program in the United states. Afterward, they publicly committed to full divestment of the College’s endowment from the fossil fuel industry. It is all starting to make sense. He was born in New York, attended a boarding school in New Hampshire, and was educated at the most extreme liberal arts school in the nation that started the environmental movement we know today. Once he was an unabashed environmental radical. Now he is the governor of one of the most dependent fossil fuels states in America. That is what I call a paradox.

Rex Rammell

Rock Springs

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