Glass for City Council 2020
About Brett
Issues
Policy Positions
Help Elect Brett to Council
Yard  Signs Contact Brett

Brett Glass at workAbout Brett

Brett Glass is an electrical engineer and physicist (BS Case Tech 1981, MS Stanford 1985) and the owner of two local Laramie businesses (including the world's first wireless ISP). Many Laramie residents know him as "the Internet guy," because he helped to bring up the modern Internet as a graduate student at Stanford and taught free public classes on how to use it, at the Albany County Public Library, when it became available to the general public. He is also an author, a musician and songwriter, an Extra Class amateur radio operator, a lover of good coffee and chocolate, a frequent speaker at technical conferences, and an advocate of ethical, transparent, fair, efficient, responsive government. He co-founded the Laramie Film Society and has served on the Laramie Zoning Board of Adjustment and Solar Board, the Laramie Traffic Safety Commission, and the Wyoming State Telecommunications Council. He is a homeowner, a tenant, and a rental property manager and has done construction and remodeling, giving him broad, direct experience in housing issues. As a small businessperson and engineer, he has a head for numbers and an intuitive sense for when they do not add up; his long experience dealing with people and organizations has also made him a good judge of character. He has lived in Laramie continuously for 32 years.

Brett is running for City Council because he loves Laramie and wants to give back to the community by improving the quality, integrity, and responsiveness of local government and help it to navigate the difficult times that lie ahead. As Laramie grows and state funding is cut, Laramie's city government will need to "stick to its knitting," focusing on its core functions and essential public services while not incurring extra or frivolous expenses. It needs to make purchases wisely and concentrate on the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare. As it approaches the "magic" population of 50,000 (the figure at which it will suddenly appear on the maps of major corporations such as big chain stores), Laramie must begin to function as a major league city, with an elected (rather than appointed) Mayor as its CEO and a City Council which considers very carefully the long term consequences of every action. The themes of Brett's campaign are transparency, integrity, foresight, and quality of life.


This Web site - a short and simple "one pager" without fancy graphics - is designed to be a no nonsense 10 minute read that quickly informs the busy voter (aren't we all!) about Brett's background, qualifications, and positions on key issues. Unlike other candidates' sites, it respects visitors' privacy and contains no scripts, trackers, or "cookies."

Issues

The key issues now facing Laramie and its City Council include
  • Housing affordability (which has, unfortunately, been negatively impacted by recent City Council actions);
  • Making local government open, accessible, friendly, helpful, ethical, efficient, and responsive to the public;
  • Maintenance and development of infrastructure, including streets, long neglected water and sewer facilities and paving and flood control in West Laramie;
  • Solving parking problems downtown and near the UW campus;
  • Provision of quality, affordable city services and facilities, including trash collection, recycling, water, sewer, policing, animal control, the Laramie Recreation Center and Ice & Event Center,snow removal, parking enforcement, and street maintenance;
  • Economic diversity and business development, and restraint from unnecessary regulation which hinders them;
  • Creation of high quality, permanent, well paid jobs which allow residents to afford high quality of life despite inflationary pressures from outside Laramie;
  • Other quality of life issues, including retail diversity, planning, and zoning;
  • Decreased funding from the state due to reduced mineral royalties;
  • "Town vs. Gown" concerns, including the lack of PILT (payments in lieu of taxes) by the tax-exempt University, potential closure of streets due to University expansion, failure to patronize local businesses and/or competition with them by the University;
  • Open spaces and bicycle friendliness;
  • Avoidance of the importation of toxic culture to local law enforcement (to ensure that Laramie's police never exhibit the hostility to the public or systemic racism that urban police departments in other cities do);
  • Broadband and cell service availability; and
  • Accessibility, especially to the aging portion of Laramie's population.

Policy Positions

  • Local government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Most Laramie residents who have had to deal with local government have encountered unexpected and unnecessary obstacles, needless delays, arbitrary decision making by unelected bureaucrats, and a disdainful attitude on the part of all but a few city officials. City Council must ensure that Laramie remains a democracy, not a bureaucracy.
  • In Laramie's "council and city manager" form of government, which works well only for very small cities, not a single person who is elected by the public works full time in City Hall. The City Council - the public's only input into the workings of city government - serves in an oversight role as a Board of Directors. Unfortunately, the current Council has often failed in this role, leading to debacles such as the recent near loss of service at our local airport due to malfeasance on the part of the Airport Board.
  • Too often, our current City Council hastily "rubber stamps" items brought before it, following blindly the recommendations of City staff without performing independent research. Members of Council are frequently overwhelmed by long agendas and meetings that stretch late into the night, and pass items simply to get them off their plate. As a result, many items are railroaded through - sometimes being approved as part of its fast tracked "consent agenda" - without adequate consideration or public comment. As Laramie grows, it will become ever more important for Council to avoid this.
  • Decisions by Council must be evidence-based. Actions based on fads, anecdotes, and unproven assertions have proven to be harmful to Laramie's quality of life and must be avoided. 
  • City employees who attempt to manipulate City Council decisions by withholding relevant information or providing false information to Council should be immediately disciplined and/or dismissed.
  • City staff has flouted state statute by claiming that many purchases of commodity goods and services are contracts for "professional services" when they should, by law, go out for bid. As a result, it frequently awards no-bid contracts, overpays for goods and services, and bypasses worthy local suppliers. The City Council should direct staff, by ordinance, to discontinue this practice.
  • The City of Laramie has also attempted, on multiple occasions, to override or modify state laws, imposing its own bureaucratic regimes upon local residents and businesses. As the Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled many times in the past, this is not legal except under very specific circumstances. If the City finds generally applicable state laws to be inadequate, it should petition the Wyoming Legislature to change state statutes rather than engaging in illegal attempts to bypass them - a practice that has, in the past, resulted in expensive lawsuits that waste taxpayer money.
  • City Council should give priority to the needs and concerns of the general public and maintain a healthy skepticism about the intentions and motivations of interest groups, lobbying groups, out-of-town "consultants," and outside corporations. In discussions of all issues, the public should get the first and the last word, and should be invited to speak before Council begins to deliberate, not after. If meetings are held electronically (e.g. via Zoom), members of the public should be given the same ability and time to present information as city bureaucrats and should be fully visible on video.
  • Council should refrain from signing a "work for hire" contract with any organization which is bound by law to serve the interests of its members rather than those of the general public.
  • The University of Wyoming is an absolutely invaluable asset to our community. However, one important role of Laramie's City Council is to "push back" against the institutionally selfish ambitions of the University when they go too far and threaten to harm Laramie's quality of life or tax base. UW can destroy local businesses by competing unfairly with them; incur large expenses for the City while failing to pay commensurate taxes; and impact our quality of life by creating congestion, parking issues, noise, pollution, and other nuisances. Closure of arterial streets which pass through or near the UW campus would severely impact public safety. The careers and financial welfare of Council members who are associated with, or have obligations to, the University could be directly affected by their votes. To avoid placing them in the awkward position of having to worry about such consequences, they should be encouraged to recuse if there is any possibility of a conflict of interest.
  • Council must listen carefully to the actual residents and small businesses of downtown Laramie - not to lobbying groups which purport to represent them but in fact represent a few monied interests as well as their own selfish interests. It must work to add, not destroy, downtown parking and not overburden downtown businesses with arbitrary and needless regulations. The City must keep downtown Laramie safe and hospitable by taking measures to fight overserving of alcohol and discourage vandalism and other problems to which this practice has proven to lead.
  • City government must be fully transparent and readily accessible. Now that Laramie's local newspaper has been bought by an out-of-state corporation and is a mere shadow of its former self - with only one and a half reporters, large quantities of "filler" (articles from out of town papers), and only occasional coverage of Council activities - Council itself should publish synopses of its meetings and notify the public well in advance and in clear, simple language of the items it is considering and the ways in which they will affect the public. It should be active on social media, publish blogs and articles, and actively notify affected parties of its actions whenever possible.
  • Proposed changes that can dramatically affect quality of life or the character of neighborhoods - such as changes to zoning regulations - should be noticed via mail to all affected residents and property owners. City ordinances should require all boards, commissions, and joint powers boards to do likewise.
  • Reasonable requests for public records should, as per state law, be honored immediately without unnecessary red tape or expense.
  • Laramie has outgrown its current form of city government. Currently, Laramie's Mayor is not elected by the public but rather selected by the Council from among its members. As a result, not a single person who works full time in City Hall is directly accountable to citizens! Laramie should move (as Cheyenne has) to a form of government with a full time Mayor, elected directly by the public, as its CEO. Council should have an independent legislative staff, similar to the state's Legislative Service Office (LSO), to do research for it and provide drafts and unbiased evaluations of proposed ordinances.
  • City Council is a nonpartisan body and should remain so. Partisan polarization sets neighbor against neighbor precisely when all community members must work together to make our city a better place. Members of Council have a duty to advocate what is best for our city and its residents, rather than imposing agendas dictated from afar by organizations which do not and cannot consider our unique needs and concerns. If elected, Brett will be 100% dedicated to serving our city's best interests, not outside interests.

Help Elect Brett to Council

In 2024, residents of Ward 2 will have the opportunity to fill not just one but two seats on the Laramie City Council. (Laramie's ward boundaries were redrawn in 2022, so consult this Map of Ward 2 to find out if you're a resident.) Unfortunately, in 2022 a large number of voters in both the primary and general elections "undervoted;" that is, they selected no candidate for Council. This resulted in several races being won by less than the number of undervotes! Even if you are a student who is in Laramie only temporarily to attend the University, these decisions will impact you directly as you seek housing; walk, bike, or drive to class; shop; work; or pursue recreational opportunities in Laramie. So, it's vital to make a choice! If you're a resident of Ward 2 we encourage you to choose Brett to fill one of the two Ward 2 seats that voters will fill in 2024.

You don't need to be a resident of Ward 2, though, to support Brett's candidacy. Money shouldn't matter in elections, especially local ones, and it once was a simple, inexpensive matter to volunteer to serve on City Council. But nowadays citizens are bombarded with attempts to grab their attention... by social media sites, publications, advertising, and more. What's more, PACs and other organizations are starting to pour large sums into individual City Council races, driving the cost of campaigning to thousands of dollars - far more than a City Council member is paid in an entire year. And finally, Brett is running against two entrenched incumbents - who, alas, have too often voted against the public interest but have the advantage of name recognition. So, Brett's campaign will very much need monetary contributions to reach voters. To contribute, scan this QR code or click on the link below it:

PayPal Donation QR Code
PayPal Donation Code


Contributions in the form of checks should be made out to "Glass for City Council" and can be mailed to the post office box address below.

Non-monetary contributions are absolutely vital as well. You can help by discussing the issues mentioned above with others, writing the newspaper, posting on social media, and - if you agree that Brett would serve you well on Council - displaying his campaign signs at your home and/or business.
 

Yard signs

Want a yard or window sign? Click here or e-mail at the address below for immediate delivery! (And, yes, we will keep an inventory of signs and remove them for you after the general election.)

Contact Brett

As Brett said in his recent speech to the League of Women Voters, "Unlike some members of Council, I will not burn out, stop listening, or stop caring. I will always strive to make sure that the public is informed of what we do and has a fair opportunity to provide input." His contact information appears below (as an image to thwart spammers):

Contact information as image

Credo: Democracy, not bureaucracy