The Casper City Council on Monday chose former UR Energy CEO Wayne Heili over seven other candidates to fill the position in Ward I vacated by Robin Mundell.

"It's an honor to serve the people of Casper," Heili said after council voted unanimously to select him during a special meeting.

"I've been here for quite a long time and know a good share of the community," he said. "I hope that I can do a good job for the citizens of Ward I and the people of Casper."

Heili will be sworn in at the Feb. 2 city council meeting.

Heili, 50, was among nine candidates who discussed their life experiences, their qualifications, their reasons for wanting the position, their willingness to run for election in 2016 and if elected then to run in 2018, and their ability to put in the required time for the job.

Heili has had small-business experience, was the CEO of UR Energy until he left the company in May, and is now a consultant for the mining industry, he said.

"I am going to be very accessible," Heili said. "My time is pretty flexible, and I'll make sure the community knows how to reach me, so they can share their opinions and help me and guide me in my decision-making process."

He and his wife chose to live in Casper 18 years ago and raise their children here, he said.

Ward I is generally located between Poplar Street on the west side of the city and east to South Conwell Street and Bryan Stock Trail. Heili said he lives in the Sunrise Addition south of Casper College.

The position opened after Mundell formally resigned Jan. 5 to move to Las Vegas with her husband whose health concerns required a warmer climate.

Nine people applied. They each made their pitch before council, and council then went into executive session for about 20 minutes before returning to nominate Heili and vote.

However, K2 Radio morning show host Brian Scott Gamroth said he had to withdraw because he didn't know until he went to the meeting that, if chosen, he would have to announce in May he would need to run for election in November. Federal Communication Commission rules would require him go off the air until November, he said. "At this point in time, I'll withdraw."

The other candidates were Reginald Kokes, Jason Magnuson, Tim Monroe, Rita Walsh, Erich Frankland, David Dewald, and Barbara LeMaitre.

  • Kokes was raised on a farm in western Nebraska, had work experience as an analyst for an engineering firm, and had lived in Casper for 30 years.
  • Magnuson grew up in Casper, was a theater major at Casper College, and has started businesses including Wyoming Vapor Co.
  • Monroe, a former mayor, has worked in television, for the federal government, and has served on the boards of charities and government organizations.
  • Rita Walsh has been a teacher in the Natrona County School District and is now a trustee for the district..
  • Frankland is a coach of numerous sports, teaches for the University of Wyoming part time, and is chairman of the political science department at Casper College
  • Dewald spoke to the council by Skype, and very little of what he said could be understood.
  • LeMaitre grew up in Casper, has had extensive experience in criminal justice, and was appointed by two governors to serve on the state's parole board.