Hasenauer Criticizes Laramie County Commission Travel, Spending [Video]
Former Laramie County Commissioner M. Lee Hasenauer says he is running as a " constitutional common sense Republican" as he tries to regain a seat on the commission in 2018.
Hasenauer was elected to a two-year term on the commission in 2012 and then was defeated in a 2014 re-election bid. He lost again in a 2016 commission run.
In a Monday interview on KGAB radio in Cheyenne, Hasenauer pledged to oppose any new taxes if he is elected to the commission.
He also said he is opposed to accepting federal funds for local projects in many cases, saying the money comes "with too many strings attached." Hasenauer was especially vocal in his criticism of "Plan Cheyenne," a community development plan for Cheyenne first adopted in 2006. Many provisions of the plan use federal grant money in their implementation
He was also critical of spending by the current county commission, saying the salaries of county elected officials increased by 36 percent between 2010 and this year. Hasenauer said he doesn't have a problem with county employees getting cost of living increases to keep up with inflation, but added he is against paying for studies 'to tell us what we knew already, that we needed to increase pay for the employees."
He also said the number of county employees has grown from around 395 in 2010 to about 420 or 425 now. He was also critical of travel costs for commissioners, saying he had a 100 percent attendance record at commission meetings when he was on the board.
He said, by comparison, current commissioners have been taking trips to places such as California, Texas, and Washington D.C. at taxpayer expense. Hasenauer also was critical of how county officials have handled sixth-penny sales tax proposals.
Those projects must be approved by voters, with a sixth-cent sales tax on every dollar collected to pay for them. Hasenauer said officials have sent far too many of the proposals to the voters, and he was critical of the practice of bundling together several of the projects in groups.
He said he would favor fewer proposals for sixth-penny funding, and also thinks they should be placed on the general election ballot rather than before voters in a special election.
Hasenauer is one of several candidates running for three seats on the commission in 2018. Two incumbent Republicans, Troy Thompson and Linda Heath, are running for re-election. Other GOP candidates besides Hasenauer include Boyd Wiggam, Tom Scranton, and Gunnar Malm, a Cheyenne realtor.
Malm in 2016 authored a facebook page that highlighted what Malm considered extreme right-wing views he claimed Hasenauer held, such as belief in an alleged United Nations conspiracy to take over the world under the banner of ''Agenda 21."
Malm says he considered the page a viable way to expose Hasenauer's extreme views to the voters. Hasenauer's supporters considered the page a collection of unfair personal attacks. The page has since been shut down.
Lee Filer, a former state legislator, is the only Democrat to file to run for the commission in 2018.