The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 48 - 7/27/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Here's my advice for the residents of Boulder concerned about the changes happening to their community and interested in managing growth: follow Bondurant's lead and decide your own future - don't let someone else do it.
In the early 1990's, explosive growth in Jackson lead to speculation for land in the Hoback Basin. Concerned, residents of Bondurant and the entire Hoback Basin community formed a committee to discuss and develop guidelines for growth in the Hoback Basin. They held 14 meetings between September 1992 and June 1993 to develop guidelines governing growth and development. Their overall objective was to "guide future growth while protecting the community values of ranching and the rural character of the community."
Through their work, the Hoback Basin residents established three specific goals including allowing just one home for every 35 acres and developing exterior appearance standards for commercial development.
They took their guidelines and goals to the County Commissioners, who passed a resolution in August, 1993, recognizing and implementing them into the Sublette County Master Plan and Zoning Resolution.
At last Thursday's P&Z hearing, several Boulder residents asked the P&Z Commission to "freeze" all development until the county-wide master plan is updated. I don't see this happening any time soon, and it could take as long as three years. Bondurant was able to complete their guidelines and goals and have them implemented into the county's master plan in 11 months. This is the way to go.
In March, 56 Pinedale High School eleventh graders took the statewide assessment, or WyCAS, test in reading, writing and math. Twenty-three of them tested below proficient in reading, 15 tested below proficient in writing, and 25 tested below proficient in math. These kids are set to graduate in 2001! I find this alarming.
Big Piney's juniors did even worse. Forty-five Piney juniors took the WyCAS last March, and 31 tested below proficient in reading, 18 tested below proficient in writing, and 31 (or 70%!), tested below proficient in math. Wow!
Big Piney's scores across the board were terrible. District No. 9 scored below the state average for proficiency in seven of the nine areas assessed. Piney and LaBarge parents should be angry.
The school districts don't seem to be too concerned. Last year, when the first set of WyCAS scores came out, both districts, which got the scores before the rest of us did, had press releases and explanations prepared. This year, both superintendents are out of town.
The State legistlature's idea behind the WyCAS was to make the schools "accountable" for tax dollars they receive to educate our kids. Accountability starts with the School Board elections. This year, three school board seats are up for election in each district. The filing period for school board candidates runs August 9-28. I hope the WyCAS scores at both districts are part of the debate leading up to the election.
A few words to the Ryegrass Ranch owners. You guys are stealing from the rest of the taxpayers in Sublette County, plain and simple. You should pay your share, and not abuse a law established to help legitimate agricultural operations stay in business. This is wrong and you should be ashamed.
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