By Jim Stanford on August 15, 2012
The mayoral primary in the upcoming election just became a race.
Longtime Jackson resident Jim Fulmer, the base manager for Snow King Ski Area and former ski patroller, announced his candidacy today. Fulmer will mount a write-in challenge to incumbent Mark Barron, who had been unopposed.
Fulmer is almost certain to gain the 25 write-in votes needed to place his name on the ballot for the general election in November.
In a press release, he cited opposition to the new Comprehensive Plan as his chief motivation for running against Barron.
“I respect the service that my friend, the honorable Mayor Mark Barron, has given to our town; however, I feel that it is time for the focus of the town government to be on the quality of life for the citizens of our town,” he said.
“The Town of Jackson was named in 1894 and precedes Teton County,” Fulmer said. “The town residents deserve a framework which respects their homes, their families and the quality of their lives. To use the new plan to designate the Town of Jackson as the dumping ground for density in Teton County denies our American rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Fulmer said he particularly took issue with the way the town government approved the Comp Plan, passing a resolution rather than an ordinance, which would have been subject to a referendum. Several hundred residents signed a petition earlier this year calling for a referendum on the plan.
He cited several remarks Barron made in local news stories: “If people disagree, it’s election season,” Barron told the News&Guide on May 23. “They should sign up to run for office or find a candidate who reflects their views.”
The News&Guide reported: “Barron said that collecting signatures does not always equate to community support. ‘The tactics used to get signatures are fuzzy at best in my past experience,’ he said.”
Fulmer responded, “These quotes either reflect a distrust of our local citizens, who are supposed to be represented by the elected officials; or a possible attempt to circumvent the people’s rights to have a say in their local town government, including a denial by their elected officials to uphold the people’s constitutional rights.
“As a resident of this town since 1977, I have truly valued the life we have here: Jackson, Wyo., is the best place to live,” Fulmer said. “So, as there is no other challenger, I am offering my name as a candidate for the office of mayor of the Town of Jackson. If this is the only avenue left to the people by the dishonest tactics used to approve the new plan, so be it. I will be the referendum.
“I will give our people a chance to express their views. If chosen by the people of Jackson to serve as their mayor, I promise to speak up for the rights of the local people and to place their lives, their homes, and their families’ needs as my top priority. I ask for the support of all voters in town who would like to preserve and enhance the quality of life for those of us who call Jackson, Wyo., home.”