2022 Vote For Water Quality

Wading into Water Quality with Local Candidates

How will our 2022 elected officials address water quality among the other community solutions we need?


Leading up to the local 2022 election, Protect Our Water Jackson Hole talked with candidates about how they planned to prioritize water quality, alongside other community needs, once they are in office.

POWJH compiled the candidate’s responses in videos to help educate the voters on the topic and invited every candidate appearing on the local ballot to speak.

Long-term water resources planning is a political exercise in which our local elected officials must play a role – both through awareness and action. Hear what candidates have to say on this topic in the below videos.

Use the Teton County website to see who is going to be on your ballot.

These videos have been paid for by Protect Our Water Jackson Hole. All candidates who will be appearing on the local ballot were invited to participate.


2022 Town Council Candidates

Arne Jorgensen

Candidate for Town Council

"We are the crucible of conservation in this country. Growing up here I've seen change in this community, as an architect I've seen failing septic systems and low ground water levels and it's clear that's where the pollution is coming from."

Jonathan Schechter

Candidate for Town Council

"Our ecosystem is the foundation of everything that matters about our community - our character, our economy, everything that we are and brought us all here. And so what I really admire is who we are, our passion for this place, and how we can bring together the incredible resources of this community to do something innovative...to be great stewards for our lands and waters."

Devon Viehman

Candidate for Town Council

"Here we are - Teton County. We're so forward thinking, we should be on top of all this stuff. And last I heard there were over 600 failing septic systems in our valley, so we have to get on top of that and start making some changes. We absolutely need a department at the county level that is dedicated to water quality."

Kat Rueckert

Candidate for Town Council

"Leveraging our community resources comes down to a lot within the private sector as well as the public sector, so i think if we utilize some philanthropic ideas and some public based ideas and bring them together...I think that's going to be really beneficial."

2022 County Commissioner Candidates

Wes Gardner

Candidate for County Commissioner

"I'm running to make sure we are developing into the community we deserve...there's no debate over whether we should protect the natural resources around us. I think the debate happens when it comes to funding and strategies to protect those resources. And when we talk about water I'm really interested in what are the investments we can make to protect our water and what are the funding mechanisms we can bring to bear to bring those solutions forward."

Tom Segerstrom

Candidate for County Commissioner

"After determining what it is that we have been doing that is at the root of these problems, there is some strategic work that needs to be done. Our water interconnects with everything and the town and the county play coordinated roles that need to be closer coordinated."

Kasey Mateosky

Candidate for County Commissioner

"You're starting to see algae blooms in the water. It's something I think a lot of smart people knew were happening but Teton County the last 20-30 years...tends to put its head in the sand and now there's a crisis, and now we have to deal with it. We could have been dealing with this generations or decades ago, but we chose not to."

Luther Propst

Candidate for County Commissioner

"...we do indeed have a water quality problem and I think we have the political will to address it, but we have a lot of work before we are able to do so. Protecting our natural resources is critical for several reasons. First, our economy depends on the health upon the quality of our natural resources. Secondly, we are one of the wealthiest counties in the country and I think we are obligated to provide national leadership in being good stewards of our natural resources."

Peter Long

Candidate for County Commissioner

"The health of our environment, the health of our economy and the health of our residents all depends on the quality of our water, which is why we can't afford to kick this issue down the road any further."

Brenden Cronin

Candidate for County Commissioner

"The things I want to put into place as soon as I get elected is to shift our focus more on the fact that we need to transform our wastewater systems very quickly to accommodate the growth that is still happening in our community. The first thing I would do is address our wastewater treatment facility, it is an antiquated system that needs to be updated." "I hope in the future we can continue to see SPET initiatives on the ballot to address water quality....The fact that we are still using a 1970's based system in Teton County in this day and age in such a beautiful and stunning place, to me needs to be a focus for this community."

Mark Newcomb

Candidate for County Commissioner

"Here we have flowing creeks and streams and clear lakes and its hard to fathom that they are contaminated with enough pollutants to cause them to be not entirely healthy for humans."

2022 Candidates for State Representatives: Senate District #17

Amanda Padilla did not participate. 

Mike Gierau

Candidate for State Representative: Senate District #17

"Water Quality here is why I got on the Select Water Committee, because frankly its also a committee that cuts party lines. The specific actions are to try to move money ARPA Dollars and Cares Act dollars that have been set aside specifically for this purpose and use them to to diagnose the problem and what we can do about them, and then fund the projects that need to get it done."

Steve Duerr

Candidate for State Representative: Senate District #17

"Looking back on the last 20 years, commercial develop has taken over and conservation has been crushed. And I care about this. I invested 11 years...in striking the right balance between development and conservation...There's nothing more important than the water that flows through this valley."

2022 Candidates for State Representatives: House District #16

Mike Yin did not participate. 

Jim McCollum

Candidate for State Representative: House District #16

"We've got to protect the waterways and we've got to do a better job of communicating what's happening and finding solutions to keep them safe and pure. [...] Jackson has always been fairly environmentally conscious and to discover that we do have such an issue....and it's not just Hoback any more, it's seeping into the groundwater and the Snake River and Flat Creek and other waterways. [...] Water is vital - across the state, not just in Jackson. This is our drinking water, people come here for our fisheries and our waterways and recreation and it would be an investment in the state to make sure they help us take care of our water. It's our infrastructure - its vital to take care of that and our outdated septic system."

2022 Candidates for State Representatives: House District #22

Andrew Byron

2022 Candidate for State Representative: House District #22

"It is our duty as humans to protect the environment we live in and preserve it for future generations. A large part of that is the artery that goes right down the middle of the Valley and that is the Snake River. [...] There is a real opportunity to educate the other legislators about the issues in Teton County and the region as it relates to water quality. I think it's very important at the state level to educate and ask...to get statewide support. [...] We can't sit here year after year continuing to hire consultants and studies to address these issues. These are known issues."

Bob Strobel

2022 Candidate for State Representatives: House District #22

"I think it's important to fall into a series of education and replacing Teton County's infrastructure as it relates to the sewer and water system is probably one of the most important things we can do over the next decade. We are all in this together and we need to use the resources of Teton County to show what's possible and what can be done, so we can focus this out to the rest of the state."

2022 Candidates for State Representative: House District #23

Liz Storer

Candidate for State Representative: House District #23

"It was surprising to learn that we had such water quality issues here given that we are a very wealthy community and we do value our environment. On the other hand we are in the state of Wyoming and I know the states rules are not as stringent as they might be, or we haven't put in place the incentives to help make sure we are taking care of our water quality....and as a result I think we've not realized what's happened...and that the infrastructure that we have in place is really out of date and needs to be replaced."

Paul Vogelheim

Candidate for State Representative: House District #23

"We're a model for the world. Often times we have folks coming from all over the world to see our National Parks and the things that we do here in terms of how we run our town, county and local government and putting as a priority protecting the national resources, which at the very top of that priority has to be clean air, clean water."