Apr 28, 2015

Fair board gets three new members

A trio of new volunteers have joined the Park County Fair Board.

At a special Friday meeting, Park County commissioners appointed Troy Wiant of Cody and Sara Skalsky and Teecee Barrett of Powell to the board. They replace three members who abruptly resigned their posts in the middle of the fair board’s April 14 meeting.

Commissioners chose the replacements among eight applicants — a pool that included Sheriff Scott Steward.

Troy Wiant
• Wiant, the agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at Cody High School, will finish out the term vacated by Linda Nielsen of Powell. It runs through Jan. 1, 2018.

“I just felt this was a good time to help out the fair,” Wiant said of applying. “One of my goals is to maybe make the fair experience a little more user-friendly.”

Having been involved with the fair some 20 years, including serving as a superintendent, he feels the fair lost sight of its mission in recent years.

“I didn’t feel like the management was as easy to deal with as it has been in the past or whatever,” Wiant said.

He hopes to help find people to fill some vacant superintendent positions and to ensure the fair is the “funnest time of the year.”

Sara Skalsky
• Skalsky also brings a lot of past experience to the board.

“I have a lot to learn with vendors, concerts, rides,” etc., Skalsky said, but she’s been involved in the animal side of the fair for a long time. That includes serving as the meat goat superintendent.

As a board member, she hopes to help make the fair successful.

“We need it here in the community,” she said, calling it one of the area’s highlights.

A bookkeeper at Stine Buss Wolff Wilson and Associates in Powell, Skalsky will fill out the term vacated by Mike Demoney of Powell, a term that ends on Jan. 1, 2017.

• Barrett is no stranger to the fair and the county, either. She works in the county clerk’s office as the elections deputy/grants coordinator and also serves as the primary minute-taker for commission meetings.

Teecee Barrett
She’ll fill the position vacated by Robby Newkirk of Meeteetse, which runs through the end of the year.

Barrett felt a vested interest in the fair after writing state grants for the new multi-use facility being built at the fairgrounds — plus she said she’s been participating in it since childhood “and have watched it gone downhill.”

“With a new building and a new events coordinator, I thought it was a good time to get on board,” Barrett said.

(Commissioners recently replaced the fair director, who had answered to the board, with an events coordinator who will work with the board but ultimately answers to the commission.)

Barrett wants to drive up participation in fair exhibits, such as in culinary arts, sewing and agronomy.

She also expects there will be a need to raise money to help the fairgrounds function.

“I’m excited about it,” she said of joining the board. “I think it’s going to take some definite time commitment, just because of the short time schedule that we have before the fair and with so many new people on board.”

The board is having a special 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting where Wiant, Skalsky and Barrett will join existing fair board members Steve Martin and Kim Barhaug of Powell.

“We had some marvelous candidates,” Commission Chairman Joe Tilden said of the eight applicants, adding, “It was a very difficult decision for us to make.”

“But pleasantly difficult,” clarified Commissioner Bucky Hall. “We had good candidates. Leaving one or two off (the board) was kind of a drag.”

Sheriff Steward had no hard feelings from being passed over.

“I just thought maybe I could lend a hand with kind of helping reorganize,” Steward said, adding later, “It’s something I would have definitely put my full heart into and gave it 100 percent, but I’m sure they picked the people for the right reasons.”

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