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Town race down to eight as Miles pulls his name
Crowded town council race loses one candidate, leaves one incumbent in the fray.
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: July 18, 2012
The crowded race for Jackson Town Council opened slightly Monday night when Greg Miles announced he would not seek re-election.
Miles, who was the top vote-getter when he won his seat in 2008, was one of two incumbents facing off against seven challengers for the two open seats on town council.
After filing to run again in May, Miles pulled out of the race just a month before primary elections take place Aug. 21.
Miles said he withdrew because he wants to spend more time in Los Angeles with his wife, who is producing a television show there.
He also said he is excited to refocus on his profession. Miles has spent much of his time in the valley building houses and other developments.
“My development experience got me into town politics,” Miles said. “I’m looking forward to getting back into that game.”
He will complete his term in office, which ends in January, and plans to begin working on several projects around Jackson in the spring.
Despite his shifting life and career goals, Miles did not rule out the prospect of re-entering politics later in life.
“You never know,” he said. “I’ll always leave that door open.”
One of the lessons Miles will take with him from his time in office is the value of compromise.
“We have a very involved community,” Miles said. “Compromise is really how we move forward as a community.”
He said he has enjoyed working with the Town Council, town staff and the public.
“I came into this thing so headstrong,” Miles said of his time serving the public, going all the way back to his six-year stint on the town planning commission. “But I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve calmed down a lot. You have to learn to work with people.”
Throughout his time in office, Miles supported pathways projects, affordable housing and complete streets, such as Redmond Street.
Several of his initiatives, including a movement to ban plastic bags from grocery stores in town, never gained traction, but Miles said he is grateful for the chance he has had to serve.
Without Miles, incumbent Mark Obringer, who is seeking his fifth term in office, and Steve Harrington are the only town veterans left in the race. Harrington served on the council from 2002 to 2006 before losing his seat in the general election. Candidate Jim Genzer served on the school board.
Political newcomers Phillip Cameron, Emy diGrappa, Kelly Egan, Hailey Morton and Jim Stanford also are challenging for seats.