The Casper City Council at a special meeting on Monday chose a former vice mayor, Steve Cathey, to fill the Ward III seat in east Casper vacated by member Chris Walsh in July.

Cathey lost to Walsh in 2016, and said at the time that he probably would not seek office again.

But when Walsh resigned, Cathey said that changed his thinking.

"I thought, we'll give it a try again," he said after the meeting.

Cathey favors some of the amenities that cost money such as the municipal golf course and the Hogadon Ski Area, he said.

Those recreational facilities cost money and council sometimes gets criticized for spending to support them, but they're worth it because it brings new residents and businesses, he said. "All of these things make Casper a livable city."

The city council called for the special meeting, and received 13 applications.

Monday, the candidates had 10 minutes to tell council about their qualifications, why they wanted the job, and whether they would run for re-election in 2020.

Most took far less time, and their presentations ended about a half-hour early. Council then adjourned for the executive session to decide on one of them.

Four of them -- Ed Opella, Terry Wingerter, Cathey and Keith Goodenough -- cited their previous council experience, saying that would enable them to avoid the learning curve necessary to understand how the council operates.

Many of the others said they would offer a fresh perspective for the council, but their experiences would mesh with the duties of the council.

For example, retired attorney James Bell said worked in the city attorney's office. During his career with the firm Murane and Bostwick, he also gained experience running it as a business and knowing how to treat employees, he said. "I can hit the ground running."

Several candidates touted their work in education: Tanis Lovercheck-Saunders teaches at Casper College, Christopher Dresang is an assistant principal at Natrona County High School, Robert Johnson taught at Casper College.

Nearly all of them cited their families as a major reason to seek the position.

Cathey, said he has five grandchildren.

Emily Kendal, on the other hand, said she was probably the youngest candidate and is a stay-at-home mom with two young children.

After their presentations, Mayor Charlie Powell complimented them.

"I find it inspiring as a city leader to hear from all of you," Powell said. "This is a wonderful community and this evening is evidence of that."


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