Council pledges staff, money to stop idling

By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
September 13, 2010

Jackson Town Councilors last week pledged $6,000 to help pay for an “Idle Free Jackson” marketing campaign.

Councilors approved the funding as part of a budget request from members of the campaign, which includes town and county staff, numerous volunteers and supporters from valley organizations, and family and friends of the late Willie Neal, who started the effort to limit idling in Jackson.

The total budget — about $29,000 — will be paid for by the town, the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Co- alition, the Willie Neal Environmental Fund and several sponsors.

The town will help pay the $3,750 management fee for Phillip Cameron, executive director of the coalition, to oversee the program as well as to pay for advertising. The budget also includes a provision for an in-kind donation of  about $8,000 in staff time.

The total budget also sets aside $7,500 for signs, more than $6,000 for radio and print advertising, and $2,750 for design work, among other appropriations. The decision to chip in was followed by a resolution outlining the council’s support of the project.

Mary Neal, Willie’s mother, pledged $7,500 for signs, and the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition has pledged $2,200 in in-kind donations.

Members of the initiative plan to approach the Jackson Hole Airport Board about including “Idle Free” material in rental cars or in rental agreements and to explore the possibility of advertising in Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce publications and in town maps. The coalition also will continue to try to find additional sponsors.

In March, councilors directed staff to start working on an ordinance that would make idling a citable offence. At a meeting three months later, however, councilors voted 3-2 against implementing an ordinance and instead asked staff to focus on a marketing and educational campaign.