The Casper City Council bid farewell to three members at Tuesday’s meeting, including longtime Councilwoman Kenyne Humphrey, who was elected to her Ward 3 seat in 2006 and served four terms as mayor.

“Rather than give everybody a boring speech, for those of you who know me, I have to shake things up a little bit,” said Humphrey, who is leaving alongside council members Jesse Morgan and Dallas Laird.

Humphrey, who has changed her hair color many times while serving, then placed a towering cotton-candy colored wig on her head and played a photo montage showcasing her many different hues.

“You guys are going to have an amazing new era,” she said.

Humphrey, who works at Mountain Plaza Assisted Living, announced more than a year ago that she would not be seeking re-election. She cited stress as the primary reason for her departure.

“(Serving on the Council) kind of takes a toll on your health. ... I work 50 hours a week, and then I’m running to meetings and I don’t sleep,” she said.

Morgan and Laird also made brief remarks.

Morgan, who represented Ward 1, explained that the city had undergone significant changes during the last two years, including hiring a new city manager and attorney, as well as new fire and police chiefs.

“All of these positive changes will hopefully set up our new City Council members in a much better position than I faced in the first six months that I took my term,” he said.

Morgan urged the new council members to ask questions and find out as much information as possible about the issue at hand.

Laird also encouraged new council members to ask questions and research issues as thoroughly as possible.

“It’s the lowest paying job I ever had, but it was the most fun,” said Laird, adding that he was honored to serve.

Laird and Morgan both opted not to run for re-election last year.

Although Laird said he enjoys representing his constituents, he said this summer that he believes it’s important to step down and give others an opportunity to serve.

“People stay on there too long and it just slows the city down — I think new perspectives are needed,” said Laird, who represented Ward 2.

Morgan, who represented Ward 1, previously explained that he decided not to run because he intends to sell his home and will likely be relocating outside of the district.

After the departing remarks, new council members Kenneth Bates and Steven Freel were sworn in. Incoming councilwoman Khrystyn Lutz was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

After taking his new seat, Bates shared a quote he credited to Henry Ford.

“He said coming together is good. Staying together is progress. Working together is success,” said Bates, adding that he would aim for success.

Freel thanked his supporters and said he was looking forward to serving.

“I’m very happy to be here, and I will give it my all,” he said.

Freel currently works as a real estate agent. He retired about two years ago as the assistant police chief for the Casper Police Department.

Lutz is the vice president of operations at Pathfinder Federal Credit Union. Bates recently left his position as a supervisor at the Youth Crisis Center.

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Follow city reporter Katie King on twitter @KatieKingCST


Local Government Reporter

Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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