Fremont County Commission declines another decal compromise from Coroner McAuslan

The Fremont County logo required on all county-owned vehicles. Department names may be added to the decal.

The Fremont County logo required on all county-owned vehicles. Department names may be added to the decal.

By Joshua Scheer, reporter,

(Lander, Wyo.) – The Fremont County Commission denied another attempt by Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan to create an exception for his office from the county’s vehicle decal policy.

“The discussion concerning the decals for the vehicles assigned to the Fremont County Coroner has been active for thirteen months,” McAuslan wrote in a letter to the commission.

The county requires all county-owned vehicles to be marked as such with the county’s own logo, not a department’s logo. Existing decals were grandfathered in.

McAuslan has fought the policy because of the often sensitive nature of this office’s work. He has said that having the vehicle marked as an official’s vehicle could impede investigations. The county has said departments do not have to label vehicles as “Fremont County Assessor” or “Fremont County Coroner,” but they at least have to say “Fremont County.”

McAuslan in his letter resubmitted a compromise to use magnetic signs.

“I will apply magnetic signs to all coroner vehicles, which may be removed at a time when they may be detrimental to an investigation or activity,” he wrote. “These signs will be of the logo for the Fremont County Coroner’s Office, which has been in existence for several years.”

“I believe it is time to put this issue to rest,” McAuslan continued. “It is not in the best interest of Fremont County to continue these discussions. This compromise will fulfill the conditions of both sides.”

The commission briefly considered his request during last Tuesday’s meeting.

Commissioner Larry Allen said the county had said the decals would be of its standard logo and not of individual offices.

“I’m inclined to stick with our plan and give him a deadline,” Allen said.

Commissioner Keja Whiteman said she thought the county had already compromised by not requiring McAuslan to put the word “Coroner” on the vehicles.

“I dont’ see that this is an effort that’s going to go anywhere,” Commissioner Stephanie Kessler said.

None moved to amend the existing policy.

Other county news:

-The commission voted to take back or sell a generator that was being used in conjunction with a radio tower in the Beaver Rim area. Emergency Management Coordinator Kathi Metzler said the generator was for back up and was never used. The commission approved ending the agreement with the radio stations, offer to sell the generator to either of them with response due by March 1, and remove it if neither station wanted to buy it.

-The Fremont County Boundary Board, which consists of the commission, Treasurer Scott Harnsberger and Assessor Tara Berg, met briefly to re-elect officers for the new year. Chairman Doug Thompson was re-elected as chairman and Berg was re-elected as Secretary.

-A public hearing was held for Great Plains Utility’s CDBG grant application for a water line looping project near Highway 789 south of Riverton. The Utility’s Director Pat Mass was the only individual to comment during the hearing. He said the project would “greatly enhance” service in the area.

-Transportation Superintendent Dave Pendleton raised some concerns about apparent inequalities with regard to holiday pay. He gave a few examples including one that involved two nonexempt salary employees. Both take Christmas Day off, but one works 32 hours and the other works 38 hours during the other days of the week. They both will get paid for 40 hours of work due to the holiday. No specific policy changes were recommended, and Thompson asked Pendleton to come back with a specific proposal.