Jul 19, 2016

One county commission candidate drops out of the race

John Marsh — a 59-year-old building contractor who's lived in Cody, Powell and now Meeteetse — has dropped out of the race for the Park County Commission.

Marsh's departure leaves five other Republicans running for two available positions on the commission. They'll face off in the Aug. 16 primary election.

John Marsh has suspended his campaign.
In a statement issued to media outlets on Friday, Marsh noted his longtime residency across Park County, his decades of business experience, his and his wife’s raising of three boys who became presidential honor students, and his past memberships in the Cody and Powell chambers of commerce.

“I feel that these achievements put me in a unique position to best serve the citizens of Park County,” Marsh wrote. “In spite of all of this, I have decided to suspend my campaign for personal reasons.”

He thanked his family, friends and supporters and also the Park County Commission “for doing a tough and thankless job.”

Marsh’s statement went on to criticize unnamed county employees for various misconduct he says he witnessed during his March 2011 to April 2015 tenure as a Park County employee. He said the commission should exercise more oversight of its staff and supervisors. His full statement appears below.

Meanwhile, Powell mayoral candidate Amber Yager-Wall notified the county elections office on July 7 that she was withdrawing from that race. The 26-year-old said she was doing so “because of sensitive personal matters.”

Primary election ballots have already been printed — in fact, absentee voting started July 1 — so both Marsh’s and Yager-Wall’s names will remain on the ballot.

Park County elections staff are putting up signs at the polls notifying voters that Yager-Wall has withdrawn from the race; they’ll add Marsh’s name to the signs if and when he formally notifies the office that he’s dropped out, said elections deputy Teecee Barrett.

The five Republicans now running for the commission are: Jake Fulkerson of Cody, Richard George of Cody, current commissioner Lee Livingston of Wapiti, Bob Ruckman of Cody and Boone Tidwell of Cody. Barring an independent, third-party or write-in campaign, the two top GOP vote-getters in the primary election will be unopposed in the general election and shoo-ins for the offices.

The three remaining Powell mayoral candidates are: James Andrews, current mayor Don Hillman and Dawson Wolff. The top two vote getters in the primary will advance to the general election for what will effectively be a run-off.

To whom it may concern:

As a 56-year Park County resident, with over 30 years business experience, I have resided in Cody for over 40 years, Powell for 12 years, and now live in Meeteetse.

I also worked for Park County for four years. I have been married to my wonderful wife Judy for 38 years. Together we raised three great boys, all of whom were presidential honor students. I have also been a member of Cody and Powell chambers of commerce.

I feel that these achievements put me in a unique position to best serve the citizens of Park County. In spite of all of this, I have decided to suspend my campaign for personal reasons. I would like to thank my family, friends, and supporters. I also thank our commission for doing a tough and thankless job.

I have a few suggestions for the commission based on personal observations while working for Park County. I have witnessed a county employee drinking alcohol in the county parking lot during business hours dozens of times, and smelled alcohol on two employees’ breath while they were operating county vehicles and equipment, so I strongly recommend random mandatory drug testing. I also witnessed a department head and an employee spending hour after hour on online dating sites.

The way the present system works is that the commission only knows what the department heads want them to hear. I believe more oversight is needed. Most the department heads are well-qualified and do a great job, but I have seen how unqualified people have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. I have witnessed a county supervisor use county labor, equipment and money for their own benefit.

It would be my greatest hope that the commission not allow department heads and supervisors to use taxpayers’ money and assets for their sole benefit.

Thank you all.   

John Marsh


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