The county public Tuesday meeting is likely to be lively.
The Teton County Board of County Commissioners will discuss an anti-discrimination resolution, Gills’ 26-acre development proposal and a ban on wooden roofs in fire-prone areas of the county. All three points were controversially discussed.
Commissioners moved for an anti-discrimination measure to be reviewed after members of the public appeared at a city and county meeting in December to ask questions about the unexplained departure of former library director Oscar Gittemeier. He is transgender and without an explanation from county officials, people wondered if he had been fired and if his gender identity was a factor.
“The limited information Jackson’s queer community has … would lead any sane person to believe that an injustice has occurred,” Adrian Croke then said.
The written resolution has no legal teeth and is more of a value proposition. However, in a staff report, Assistant District Attorney Keith Gingery said that many “sources” have proposed a “multi-step process” to address the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion. “
While the resolution states that “Americans of different races, races, religions, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality and political beliefs” “stood together” in the face of “challenges and divisions”, the final statements do not specifically address gender identity or gender sexual orientation. The resolution as amended is attached to the online version of this article.
The discussion about the Gills’ proposal was also intense.
The family is keen to develop 26 acres of their land in northern South Park, but with no action restrictions that would provide housing for the local workforce. The family claims that “a decade-old legal right” is emerging there because they plan to move forward under the zoning currently on the property.
However, critics have feared the development would exacerbate Jackson Hole’s housing problems. The city of Jackson also failed to say whether it would link the development to urban water and sewage, and that has critics of the water quality proposal in the area.
The ban on wooden shake roofs has also attracted supporters and critics.
Firefighters have said the ban, which would not be retroactive, is intended to increase the resilience of homes at the interface between wildland and town of the county.
The Teton Conservation District, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Hole Insurance, former firefighter Steve Markason, and other members of the public support the ban.
“This proposal to stop the future construction of fire-retardant treated wood shingles and shingles will help move our county towards a fire-adapted community,” wrote Markason in a letter to the commission. “Science supports that embers can build up on roofs and that an untreated wooden shaker roof is the greatest threat to the survivability of homes.”
But roofers have pushed themselves back, arguing that “misinformation” is “floating around”.
Erich Tucker of MD Roofing told the Jackson Hole Daily that cedar roofs “could be grade A,” or the highest rating for fire retardancy.
“Shaking wood is just the toughest and most bomber roof to put on because it can take a beating,” he said, arguing that they are one of the best ways to weather tough winters.
Others have also argued that Jackson Hole would lose its character with different roofs.
“My personal view is that if the code is changed as suggested, the city of Jackson is on the way to becoming a theme park with western wooden roof structures in the city and a variety of concrete tiles and synthetic roof structures surrounding it.” Howard Schirmer Jr. wrote a letter to the commissioners.
Members of the public wishing to comment on any of these three items – or anything else on the county commission’s agenda – can do so through Zoom. The meeting ID is 878 3481 3155. The dial-in number is 1-669-900-6833.
The meeting on Tuesday starts at 9 a.m. It will be virtual.