Our latest ad


In case you missed it. This is SHJH’s latest ad urging voters not to pass a sales tax increase in order to continue a plan of massive buildout, and traffic-generating growth. Tax-and-spend is not the answer to our overcrowding and traffic issues.

A failed housing department was given a vote of “no confidence” when town and county officials yanked phase 3 of The Grove from their own agency and handed it to Habitat for Humanity—at even greater cost than the Housing Authority was proposing.

Now elected officials want to fund their failed department again. With even more money. By taxing you.

Don’t aid this wasteful practice of paying for a housing agency that hasn’t put enough units on the ground to make a difference, and certainly has not done it cost-effectively. And don’t agree to pay even more for a bus system that runs a bloated budget now without noticeably taking any cars off the road (1% of traffic reduction is the current estimate by START’s own numbers.)


1 penny tax - housing, 2016-10-18.pdf

Wildlife deserves more


Do we really care about wildlife?

Time and again, we as a community make it clear that we cherish our natural resources, our open spaces, our pristine environment, and most of all, our wildlife.


Many of the growth-enabling moves we see our electeds make appear to be in opposition to wildlife. How can adding more hotels, more condo rentals, and more housing benefit wildlife? These things out more and more vehicles on the road and create a massacre situation on our highways for elk, door, moose, and other animals.

Well, that didn’t take long


Remember that promise not increase our sales tax with this November’s proposed additional one penny general sales that town and county officials hope will fund housing and transportation issues? Our leaders are already considering reneging on that because they need money for their bus barn apartment complex in Karns Meadow.

The project will house up to 67 government employees in 24 units as part of an 18,250-square-foot expansion of the big city mass transit depot in the last remaining pristine and riparian area of Jackson. Electeds like what they’ve seen so far of the design presented by Jorgensen Associates. There’s only one problem: paying for it.

Design costs alone are projected at $640,740. Build out in today’s dollars is estimated at $6.9 million.

Where will town and county officials get that kind of money? From us, the taxpayer, of course. According to agenda documents prepared for today’s Joint Information Meeting to discuss the START Bus Housing Project, alternative #7 identifies SPET as one possible source.

Read more in today’s edition of Jackson Hole Media.

John Turner speaks out


Here’s an oldie but a goody from former state senator John Turner. He wrote this letter to the editor back in February 2016.

A fiscal ambush

A sneak attack on the voters of Teton County. I feel that is what the recent proposal to increase the general sales tax to fund housing, transportation, and the slide represents. Once enacted, the additional funds would be unrestricted, could continue for years and would likely have no direct accountability to the citizens of the county.

When the optional sales taxes provisions were passed by the Legislature to meet the growing needs of local communities, we carefully tailored the SPET to be used for specific projects, with defined costs and with a limited time span to be applied. Appropriately, local officials have to periodically go before the voters and carefully justify their case for transparent and limited expenditures. This is the appropriate vehicle to consider for launching significant requests for what promises to be mountains of new spending.

When I was first elected to the Wyoming Legislature, Teton County was the poorest in Wyoming. It was a time when local officials had to be extremely cautious in selecting priorities and spending limited funds. Today we are fortunate to have substantial revenues flowing into local coffers. So much that one sometimes gets the impression that there is a lack of adequate planning, prioritization and accountability.

Example: The final reported building cost of the Grove Phase II was $9.9 million, $4.6 million or 88 percent above the estimates initially approved at $5.3 million. Before enacting significant funds for the legitimate need of housmg, I believe the voters need assurance that we can design and build projects efficiently and responsibly. SPET provides that accountability.

I hope local officials will rethink the funding pathway they wish to present the community.

John F. Turner
John F. Turner

John F. Turner

Former State Senator

(Teton, Sublette and north Lincoln counties)


You Did It!


Proposed land development regulations for District 2 in downtown Jackson were successfully overturned in today’s vote. The “No” vote won, 827 to 647.

The reasons to vote no were many, so it could have been any number of things that resonated with voters. Maybe some understood that the Workforce Housing Bonus Tool would create more problems than it would solve by adding more jobs than housing. Perhaps voters were suspicious of the way short-term rentals were added late in the game to one developer in particular. Still others might not have been clear on what was going on and opted to hit the pause button.

This election result should at the very least send a clear message to our town electeds that will likely reverberate well beyond District 2. Citizens are tired of being sold out to developers. They are generally distrustful now of our leaders for reasons they’ve brought on themselves. And many people don’t believe the hype: that building our way out of our housing woes is anything but a bad idea.

Hopefully, our local governing body will do the right thing and strip out commercial short-term rentals. We do not need to give developers any incentives to build their skyscrapers in Jackson. The pittance of workforce housing that could come with these commercial entitlements ar not affordable housing but deed restricted housing. The difference is they have no restrictions on assets, salary, or net worth. If you can prove you live here, you can try to outbid every other millionaire in the valley for them.

Voters saw through the “Yes” vote’s attempt to make this about housing. It isn’t. It never was. It’s about government listening to the people.

This is a victory for democracy, and for those who cherish our small Western town full of charm and character. Community over condos

Still making up your mind?



Did you catch the editorial “face off” in Wednesday’s News&Guide weekly?

Jake Nichols from Save Historic Jackson Hole made the case for a “No” vote in the District 2 special election on September 20.

Jeff Golightly from the Chamber of Commerce pitched the “Yes” side’s arguments.

Read them carefully. You will decide. We include the “No” vote argument here. For the opposing side you’ll have to spend a dollar on the newspaper.


Links to online “Guest Shot” versions so you can comment:

     Vote NO

          Vote YES



Old Bills deadline approaching


Many of you participated in Old Bill’s Fun Run this year and marked the event by donating money to Save Historic Jackson Hole. We sure appreciate your philanthropy. We recognize there are many worthy nonprofits (230 in all!) you could choose to give to.

This is a friendly reminder that donations are still being accepted by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole until 5pm on Friday, September 16. Visit the CFJH office at 245 East Simpson Street or donate securely online at www.oldbills.org.

Thank you for your continued support in helping to make Jackson Hole a livable community.


click on me!!      DONATE NOW!        click on me!!

FAQ: September 20 Special Election

FAQ 3 Blocks

Why is there a special election?

A group of dedicated volunteers collected signatures from 10% of the registered voters in the Town of Jackson asking for a referendum on ordinances 1121 through 1129 concerning District 2 land development regulations (LDRs).


What is a referendum?

A referendum allows the citizens to vote on ordinances passed by elected officials. If a majority of citizens vote “NO” in the special election, the elected officials must repeal those ordinances.


Why are we allowed to have a referendum?

A referendum is part of the checks-and-balances provided by the Wyoming Constitution to ensure that our elected officials are acting in the best interests of our community.


What do those ordinances allow?

The ordinances are very complex. Our elected officials have not done a good job educating the public on what they allow. Current land regulations for District 2 in downtown Jackson would allow commercial development to roughly double from what is on the ground now. These new ordinances also permit an additional 100,000 square feet of short-term rentals over and above what is currently allowed. The ordinances change other things in the downtown core, but most people are upset about the additional short-term rentals.


Why do they want more short-term rentals?

The elected officials think short-term rentals will provide a solution to our workforce housing problems. In reality, the demand for housing that they create is greater than any worker housing they provide. More short-term rentals will provide greater profits for a select few developers.


What are short-term rentals?

The new ordinances propose building luxury penthouse apartments that would rent for 30 days or less. They are intended to serve people who are here on vacation.


Why should I care about more short-term rentals?

Short-term rentals typically charge many times the going rate for long-term rentals so they are not affordable for workers. They also create a great deal of demand for service workers who then need to find housing; exacerbating a problem we already know we have.


What do I need to do?

Show up to vote! There is only one polling place in the basement of the County Administrative building at 200 S. Willow on September 20th. There is no early voting and you will not get an absentee ballot even if you requested one for the November election. You must request an absentee ballot if you cannot vote on the 20th. Vote “NO.”


Why are they making it so hard to vote, and why not have the vote during the November election?

Those are good questions to ask our Mayor and Town Council. Phone: 733-3932 ext. 1000. Or email: council@townofjackson.com.


I am still confused about the issue. What should I do?

If you “Don’t Know, Vote NO.”