Hello, I’m Mark Newcomb, and I’m running for Teton County Commissioner. I was born in Jackson and raised outside of Wilson. My wife Allison and I have two boys ages 3 and 5. I’ve worked as a climbing and skiing guide, ski patroller and avalanche course instructor. For several years I was a part owner of Exum Mountain Guides. I’ve also been a laborer, surveyor’s helper, waiter and greens keeper. I am currently self-employed as an environmental consultant.
I’ve been a county planning commissioner for six years. I was the chair during the crucial meetings when we finalized the 2012 Comprehensive Plan and moved it forward to the commissioners.
We need clear development standards that reflect our community’s Common Values as identified in the Comprehensive Plan: Ecosystem Stewardship, Growth Management and Quality of Life. And we need consistent interpretation of these standards.
Ecosystem Stewardship reflects our commitment to protecting our natural resources. Growth Management provides strategy guidelines on how to be good stewards. Ecosystem Stewardship and Growth Management combine to preserve our Quality of Life. Our Comp Plan is a commitment to a community-first, resort-second ethic. If we are consistent with this vision, we will protect our habitat, provide for a diversity of housing and implement effective multi-modal transportation.
I value personal rights, freedoms and dignity as a baseline for working together. By listening to you, and through my experience as a life-long resident, jack-of-all-trades worker and county planning commissioner, we will preserve our natural resources and our vibrant, diverse community.
Here are my priorities:
1. The critical and time-sensitive need to pass clear and effective zoning rules and development standards to implement the 2012 comprehensive plan. Good LDR’s will support our core community values: conservation, growth management, quality of life and a rational business environment. I have hands-on working knowledge of the old and new comprehensive plan. I can move us through the adoption of critical new LDRs to help us achieve a vision that works for all and respects our special setting.
2. Address and advance workforce housing–the right housing in the right places supports our quality of life. I can help us achieve housing 65% of our workforce.
3. Hire and retain capable, hard working county staff—most of the almost $40 million county budget goes to human resources; we rely on their skill and diligence.
4. Help establish a transportation plan that reflects our community values, fosters steady improvements in START Bus system, completes local pathway loops such as the South Park Loop connector and ensures our ability to respond quickly and effectively to catastrophes.
5. Capitalize on my rapport with other commissioners – of either party – to quickly ramp up and effectively address the myriad other issues our commissioners handle on a week-to-week basis.