From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 12 - June 16, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

No go on PDR program

by Cat Urbigkit

Although a new law enacted by the 2005 Wyoming Legislature makes the county funding of a purchase of development rights program an allowable action, Sublette County's PDR program is dead, according to Sublette County Commissioner Bill Cramer.

Last week, a district court judge officially dismissed the lawsuit challenging the legality of the county's PDR program. The new law made the legal challenge moot. Pinedale's Bob Harrower, represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, had filed the case.

In January, the county commission formally voted to pursue its purchase of development rights program, dependent upon the outcome of the district court's decision in the pending litigation.

The vote was 2 - 1 in favor of the motion, with Commissioner John Linn in the minority. Commissioner Bill Cramer made the motion that the county would proceed with the program. Money had already been budgeted for a pilot program. Commission Chair Betty Fear seconded the motion.

Cramer said in an interview Friday that in the January meeting, the commission had gone into executive session to discuss pending litigation. Upon returning to open session, Cramer made the motion.

Cramer said his position on the PDR program hasn't changed - he's still opposed to a county-funded program. His motive for the January motion was to press the issue with the court. It was widely speculated that the court wouldn't hear the PDR case; the legal question was merely a hypothetical exercise, since with John Linn's election to the commission, and Cramer's voiced opposition to the program, it appeared the program wasn't going to move forward. Cramer said he wanted a legal decision, one way or the other. But the legislature removed the question from the local court system.

"I am still not and never have been in favor of the PRD program," Cramer said Friday. "The only reason I made the motion I did ... was to get the court to render a decision."

With both Linn and Cramer opposed to the program, it's not going to receive funding from the commission, the advisory committee is no longer operating and both the telephone and computer purchased for the program have been returned to the county clerk's office, Cramer said.

"PDR is done," Cramer said.

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