20180529_TomScrantonElectionMUG

CHEYENNE – A retired banker is making a run for Laramie County commissioner.

Republican Tom Scranton said he had thought about running for “years and years,” but always had a full-time job.

“But now that I’m retired,” he said, “I think I have the time, and I certainly have a desire, to serve the residents of Laramie County.”

Scranton said he didn’t have an agenda ­– especially a “hidden agenda” – or list of priorities. He also stated he had “no opinion” on whether anything needed to change in the county or the commissioners’ operations, conceding he did not have a detailed knowledge of the various issues in play.

But he said his background in finance could aid in shaping the county’s budget, and added that he thought he had “the ability to listen, to ask questions, to listen to the opinions of others and then make a decision.”

“Every job I’ve ever had has been (on-the-job training), and I view this as no different,” Scranton said.

He also touted his lack of experience in elected office and outsider status.

He did say, though, that he had no problem with zoning in the county, a topic that came up recently when a local shooting club tried to build a range in a county subdivision.

His only criteria was that the zoning could be changed.

“As long as we can change the zoning and there’s a good reason for it, I’m fine with it,” he said.

Scranton had “no opinion” on what the commission’s role should be in regulating energy development.

The power to regulate drilling in the state resides with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, but some homeowners and conservationists have encouraged county commissioners to advocate against things like injection wells and a gravel pit near their houses.

In addition to his time in banking, the Lovell native said he also owned a home inspection business and spent eight years with the city building safety division, which is responsible for reviewing plans for new construction and renovation and inspecting existing structures.

Scranton is one of three challengers who have declared runs this year. Cheyenne Realtor Gunnar Malm and former Commissioner M. Lee Hasenauer have also filed.

Among incumbents, Linda Heath and Troy Thompson have filed, and Ron Kailey has said he will not run.

Candidates must file for office by Friday. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 21; the general election is Nov. 6.

County commissioners serve four-year terms and earn salaries of $45,000 per year.

Austin Huguelet is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. He can be reached at ahuguelet@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3182. Follow him on Twitter at @ahuguelet.

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