This newspaper has long held that the best government is the government closest to the people, and we have consistently advocated for a maximum amount of local control over the decisions that impact the lives of people in Weston County.
But our founders anticipated the fact that there are no absolutes— especially when it came to the concept of self-government— and the multiple levels of checks and balances they put in place to address human failures and other potential shortcomings at any level of government are the cornerstone of the system they created.
We applaud the Weston County Commissioners for listening to the concerns expressed by citizens in our page one story, and having the courage to provide access to those checks and balances for constituents who feel that the system has failed them.
There are those who will argue that the county’s decision-making body set a dangerous precedent by asking state officials to consider using their limited authority to intervene in a local matter, but that limited authority exists specifically for those situations when the structure of county government itself fails to provide the necessary checks and balances.
By asking Wyoming’s governor and attorney general to simply investigate the need for a special prosecutor, the commissioner wisely withheld judgement and kept their request focused on this one case.
As such, any precedent that has been set by their action is a very narrow one, and the fact that the commissioners were able to allow this conversation to take place entirely in a public meeting makes the record and their intent very clear.
It also should help restore some confidence in a system that the public has shown very little confidence in recently.