Glass for City Council 2020
About Brett
Issues
Policy Positions
Help Elect Brett to Council
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, an Extra Class amateur radio operator, an independent voter, a lover of good coffee and chocolate, a frequent speaker at technical conferences, and an advocate of ethical, transparent, fair, efficient, limited government. He co-founded the Laramie Film Society and has served on the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment and Solar Board and the Wyoming State Telecommunications Council. As a small businessperson and engineer, he has a head for numbers and an intuitive sense for when they do not add up; his wide experience in dealing with people and organizations has also made him a good judge of character. He has lived in Laramie continuously for more than 28 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 regulate only as necessary to preserve public health, safety, and welfare - not to augment the arbitrary powers of unelected bureaucrats. 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 chain stores), Laramie must begin to function as a major league city, with an elected (rather than appointed) Mayor and a City Council which considers very carefully the long term consequences of every action. The slogans which summarize Brett's campaign are "Transparency, Integrity, Foresight, Quality of Life" and "Democracy, not Bureaucracy."

This Web site - a short "one pager" - is designed to be a 5 minute read that quickly informs the busy voter (aren't we all!) about Brett's background, qualifications, and positions on key issues. Unlike other candidate sites, it contains no scripts, trackers, or cookies whatsoever and preserves all visitors' privacy.


Issues: The key issues now facing Laramie and its City Council include
  • Decreased tourism and sales tax revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced state mineral royalties;
  • Maintenance and development of infrastructure, including long neglected water and sewer facilities and paving and flood control in West Laramie;
  • 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;
  • "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;
  • Quality of life issues, including retail diversity, planning and zoning, and parking near the UW campus and downtown;
  • 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;
  • Accessibility, especially to the aging portion of Laramie's population; and
  • Ensuring that local government remains open, accessible, friendly, helpful, and responsive to the public.
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.
  • Too often, our current City Council hastily "rubber stanps" items brought before it, following blindly the recommendations of City staff without performing independent research. As a result, many items slip past it - sometimes being approved as part of its fast tracked "consent agenda" - without adequate consideration.As Laramie grows, it will become ever more important for Council to avoid this.
  • 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.
  • 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, and outside corporations. In discussions of all issues, the public should get the first and the last word, and should be asked to speak before Council even begins to deliberate. 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.
  • One important role of Laramie's City Council is to "push back" against the institutionally selfish ambitions of the University of Wyoming when they threaten to harm Laramie's quality of life or tax base. While the University is a great asset to our community, it can also be a great liability. It 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. Council members who are associated with, or have obligations to, the University should recuse from matters involving it, and the public should be fully informed of candidates' potential conflicts of interest when considering whom they wish to elect to Council.
  • 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.
  • 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 one less edition per week 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. 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.
  • 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 national organizations which do not and cannot consider our unique needs and concerns. Brett is the only Ward 1 candidate who is not affiliated with a political party. If elected, he will be 100% dedicated to serving our city's best interests, not outside interests.
Help Elect Brett to Council: All residents of Laramie's Ward 1 (which includes areas west of 9th Street) will have the opportunity to vote for two of four candidates, and we encourage you to make Brett one of your choices. To find out more about all the candidates, see the League of Women Voters' General Election Voters' Guide at https://www.wyominglwv.org/Elections/2020/2020VoterGuide_General.pdf. The section listing City Council candidates begins at the bottom of Page 28.

While Brett's campaign can accept monetary contributions (e-mail the address below for a PayPal link), the most valuable thing you can contribute is time, effort, and word of mouth. In the 2020 primary election, 20% of the voters in Ward 1 "undervoted;" that is, they selected no candidate for Council. You can remedy this 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. Want a yard or window sign? E-mail at the address below for immediate delivery!


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