A fifth-generation native of Sweetwater County, Joe M Barbuto has spent most of his life in Rock Springs.
From 2008 to 2013, Joe represented House District 48 in the State Legislature, where he also served as House Minority Caucus Chair. Other public service includes current membership on the Library Foundation Board and as a former member of the Sweetwater County Library Board of Directors, the Rock Springs Historical Museum Board, and as a volunteer for several other community and state organizations.
Professionally, Joe is a consultant/contractor working with clients on strategic planning, organization development, needs assessments, and communication. His other professional experience includes work in the non-profit sector focusing on organizational and leadership development.
Along with his wife Erin and their dogs, Chapter and Molly, Joe has a passion for the public lands of Sweetwater County and fills several days and hours exploring the desert, fishing, and finding historic homestead sites. When not spending time outdoors, he enjoys making music with other local musicians.
why I'm running
Sweetwater County needs a new kind of commissioner - a person who won't just maintain what's already happening, but actively work to create a better future for our communities. The sort of leader who will bring more people into the process to achieve better discussions and solutions. A commissioner who can strike that balance between preserving what we value - such as our public lands - while pursuing new opportunities for prosperity.
And that is why Joe is running.
Three critical issues are defining this campaign:
Planning for the Future
For too long, we have reacted to change. The result being declining revenues, few opportunities, and, worst of all, lost jobs. Beyond our borders, the energy economy has transformed, and while we have the supply, we can't control the demand. So, rather than hoping another boom comes along, it's time (past time, really) to start planning for our future.
Nobody is going to do that for us - we have to take the initiative.
As a Sweetwater County Commissioner, Joe will bring stakeholders from across the county together to create a strategic plan that will guide us into a more prosperous future. His background in non-profit work and organizational development make him the right person for the job.
We can react or plan. Let's choose the latter.
Protecting Public Lands
Few places in this country enjoy the same amounts of and access to public lands. It defines several aspects of our life - from how we work to how we play.
Groups and individuals exist who want to change the method of public land management in a way that could threaten our access. While federal stewardship is far from perfect, it does allow us to utilize these public spaces in ways that wouldn't be possible under different circumstances.
Collaboration is key. Having a seat at the land management table is crucial to ensuring land management decisions make sense for Sweetwater County. When considering zoning questions, the needs of public access are a priority.
Joe is the only candidate in this race to make this issue a priority. As a legislator and citizen, he has been a fierce defender of our wild places - that will continue when he is a Sweetwater County Commissioner.
Putting Your Voice in the Process
When was the last time a county commissioner came to your community to discuss what was happening in local government? Here's the deal - most folks can't make a Tuesday morning meeting in Green River every other week. Loggin in via the internet is a great option, but not always possible. Commissioners should be in the communities of our county, having discussions and taking questions from the people they represent.
Joe will hold town halls and forums. He will make sure that important topics - such as the budget and public lands issues - are discussed and considered across Sweetwater County. From Bairoil to McKinnon, Granger to Wamsutter, Farson to Superior, and everywhere in between.
We need big ideas for this big county - but we won't know what those are unless we take the time to listen. Joe is all ears and ready to make you a part of your county government.