Candidates for City, County Speak at Forum

Candidates at Tuesday's forum at the Senior Center. From left, Roger Miller, Alex Lee, Kristin Kelly, Mike Nickel, Vicki Taylor, Tom Ringley, Thayer Shafer and Shelleen Smith. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Candidates for Sheridan mayor and city council and the Sheridan County commission introduced themselves and answered questions in a forum Tuesday morning at the Sheridan Senior Center.

They included candidates for mayor Roger Miller and Alex Lee, and council candidates Kristin Kelly, Thayer Shafer and Shelleen Smith. Commission candidates were Republicans Mike Nickel and Tom Ringley, both incumbents, and challenger Vicki Taylor, a Democrat.

Each candidate spoke to the need for something that needed to be done differently or improved upon in the coming years. Lee said quality of life was one of his issues, and that he would like to keep Sheridan's senior residents in their own homes as long as possible. Miller said he considered communications with the public to be important, and transparency very important.

For Kelly, the goals were personal.

Shafer said the council needs to use money as efficiently as possible. Smith said she sees a need for good planning. But she said the city also is doing a good job right now. Nickel said the county has a lot of great services that a lot of people aren't aware of, such as the urgent care center at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. But he said the county needs to improve access to mental health care in the community.

Ringley said he agreed with Nickel on the mental health issue. He also took exception to an criticism by Taylor regarding the commissioners calling for elimination of staff earlier this year because of budget restrictions. Ringley said no one was fired, but vacant positions were eliminated, and he said there's nothing wrong with using people more efficiently.

Taylor criticized commissioners for their decision to discontinue discussions of turning the county's rural water system over to administration by the city of Sheridan. She said that change could have resulted in cost savings to rural water customers.

View more photos below.

Candidates for Sheridan mayor, Roger Miller, left, and Alex Lee. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Sheridan City Council candidate Kristin Kelly, left, and county commission candidates Mike Nickel and Vicki Taylor. (Photo by Pat Blair)
County commission candidate Tom Ringley, left, and city council candidates Thayer Shafer and Shelleen Smith. (Photo by Pat Blair)