Phoebe Stoner, 27, was appointed by the Laramie City Council as the Ward 1 councilor Tuesday, replacing former councilor Vicki Henry, who resigned in October.
Council appointed Stoner to the vacant council seat 5-3, with councilors Bryan Shuster, Dave Paulekas and Joe Shumway voting against. No other candidates were voted, because the council opted to vote on Stoner’s appointment first.
“I am absolutely honored to be in this seat, and I want to thank my fellow councilors (for) allowing me to join them,” Stoner said. “It’s incredibly humbling.”
The new councilor said that during her term, which ends in 2018, she hopes to help Laramie improve on the building blocks already set in place by the City Council and community.
“I think Laramie has an outstanding foundation,” Stoner said. “The community here is vibrant. There’s unique western character. There’s great outdoor access. There’s diversity. My vision (for Laramie) is building on that foundation and enhancing it.”
Stoner was sworn in immediately and began voting on the remaining agenda items with the council.
“It was an honor to interview these candidates,” Councilor Klaus Hanson said. “It was a difficult choice, because we had such an excellent pool of candidates.”
Councilor Pat Gabriel said he was so happy with the pool of candidates, he wouldn’t argue against putting their names in a hat and selecting the next councilor randomly.
In other council news, by way of the consent agenda, the council approved a contract with Dona Playton to serve Laramie as the new municipal judge, starting Monday.
During the council meeting, Laramie BikeNet presented the Laramie Parks and Recreation Department with a check for $10,500 to begin the planning phase of a bike park.
“In 2015, (Laramie City Council) Resolution 87 was passed in support of our fundraising efforts,” BikeNet Fundraising Committee Chair Dan McCoy said. “We hope with these funds we can move forward with the planning aspects of the potential future bike park.”
Hanson questioned whether the bike park was intended to teach children to ride bicycles, which he said the Laramie Police Department currently does annually in the Laramie Community Recreation Center parking lot.
“Bike parks typically have several elements that are inclusive to bicycling,” McCoy said. “Some bike parks do include elements to help children learn bike etiquette, but we would like the community to guide the direction of this bike park.”
Moving forward with the park planning process, McCoy said BikeNet would like to see parks and recreation host public input sessions and hire an engineering firm with experience in designing bike parks.
While no location has been selected for the bike park, McCoy said BikeNet’s preference was to use the land between the recreation center and Laramie High School.
Parks and Recreation Director Todd Feezer said selecting the location of the bike park would be a public process.
“One of the strongest things about working with the Laramie community is collaboration with our partners,” Mayor Andi Summerville said. “This is a tremendous project, and I look forward to it.”