Get to know Mayor Doby
A previous version of this article contained a couple of inaccuracies. The article said his family had homesteading here in 1820, 1821, rather it should have said 1920, 1921. Also, the article said the yearly salary for a part-time mayor is $18,000, rather it should have said $12,000. Doby’s yearly salary will be $12,000. By approving him as a part-time mayor, the mayor and council have saved the city $18,000.
TORRINGTON – After living in Goshen County for most of his life, newly elected Mayor Herb Doby chose to run for office to serve the community of Torrington. Doby is a local lawyer who has a general practice law firm here called Herbert K. Doby Attorney at Law.
“I’m the fifth generation, with a granddaughter generation after me, to be here in Goshen County,” Doby told the Telegram. “My dad’s parents homesteaded out here in Goshen Hole back in 1920, 1921.”
Doby said his dad was the Goshen County sheriff from 1955 to 1971. After he lost an election, he was the chief of police in Minatare, Nebraska for four years, before coming back.
In 1975, he came back to Torrington to work as the Goshen County undersheriff for the newly elected sheriff.
At that time, the Goshen County jail was where the detention center is today. This building was a three-story building with the jail at the top. The middle floor was the sheriff’s office. The basement was made up of a garage, board room and the undersheriff’s department office.
“I think I was about six months old when he took office as sheriff,” Doby explained. “So, for the first 16 years of my life, I literally lived under the county jail in the sheriff’s department.”
Doby said after he graduated from high school he served in the Army for a few years. When he was 23, he went to Laramie to continue his education at the University of Wyoming (UW). At UW, he completed a degree in political science and then continued on to law school.
“It’s interesting to me, the farther I get away from that army experience, the more valuable I see it,” Doby commented. “I learned to deal with all types of people on the planet, know the organizational structures and even use that.”
After law school, Doby spent some time in Pennsylvania, but it wasn’t long before he moved his family back to Wyoming and settled in Torrington. His wife Becky is a freelance court reporter. Together they have two daughters, Katie and Amanda.
Katie now lives in the Knoxville, Tennessee area with a daughter and a son. Amanda still lives in Torrington with a daughter.
During one of the summers when Doby was a student at UW, he worked for the streets and alleys department in Torrington. That summer, Doby helped put in many water and sewer lines in the city. This job gave him valuable experience helping him understand what the city’s structure looks like underground and how it works.
“When I was in law school I had an internship at the Attorney General’s Office in the summer of my second year and then worked part-time during my third year,” Doby recalled. “I got invaluable experience there learning how the government works. During that internship, I also got to know a lot of talented people.”
Doby has been an attorney for 40 years. His private practice is called Herbert K. Doby Attorney at Law. It is a general practice law firm.
In 2012, Doby said he became the Goshen County guardian ad litem (GAL) and is still currently. A GAL is an attorney who represents children in a variety of different cases. Some of these cases are abuse and neglect, a child in need of supervision and custody.
Doby’s experience as a lawyer has helped him become familiar with many different issues in the community.
“I’m familiar with a lot of that stuff because I am involved in the juvenile system,” Doby explained. “The youth alternative board wants to figure out ways to help the youth of the community, for those who are starting to go down a wrong track.”
“I know a lot of people in the community, which is helpful,” Doby continued. “I knew a lot of people that worked for the city before I became mayor because I used to work in the city court at times. I know James Eddington, the city attorney.”
Serving as Mayor
“I’ve only been on this job for about a week,” Doby told the Telegram. “So, I’m taking it all in and finding out how many boards I’m on and committees I’m on and how many people need to talk to me on a fairly regular basis. I’m learning it.”
Doby explained that he’s figuring things out, there’s just the learning curve that comes with any new job.
“It’s like the phrase ‘drinking out of a firehose,’” Doby commented. “It’ll be a lot at first, don’t panic, it’ll come.”
“I’ve been quite busy, as I would expect when I first come on the job,” Doby continued. “I’ve got a good staff. Randy Adams had told me to use the gals in the office, they’re smart, good at what they do, and they can keep you on track. I’ve experienced that already.”
According to city ordinances, a mayor can choose to either be a part-time or full-time mayor. This decision is locked in at the beginning of each year of their term. If a mayor plans on changing his status he has to request the change at the first city council meeting in January.
At this time, Doby will be a part-time mayor. Doby explained that while he has chosen to only be a part-time mayor, this does not mean that he will only put in part-time hours. Doby said that he will put in as much time as necessary to do the job.
Doby’s decision was mostly influenced by the fact that he is still a working attorney in Goshen County. However, he also said that his decision and the council’s approval will save the city the additional cost of his salary. Doby said that a full-time mayor makes a yearly salary of $30,000, while a part-time mayor makes a yearly salary of $12,000.
When asked how he plans on handling the challenges that come with the job, Doby told the Telegram, “That’s where I think my experience comes in. My law practice has given me invaluable experience in dealing with conflict. That’s what you do as a lawyer, you’re always dealing with two sides to a conflict. My experience as an attorney has taught me the importance of communication.”
These skills will help Doby resolve the typical conflict that can come up in his position.
When asked what the key to professional success was, Doby replied, “Professional success is being as informed as you possibly can be about any given issue. There’s a lot of power that just comes with information. Also, I think it’s important to have a willingness to listen to people.”
Also, Doby said other important factors of success include, showing up, being consistent, having a good work ethic and knowing how to delegate.
“One more thing would be, to be honest and ethical,” Doby continued. “I’ve had numerous young attorneys come to me over my career for advice. I would always tell them one thing, especially in a small community, which is do not lie to another attorney and do not lie to the court. The one time you do, your reputation will be shot.”
Plans for the Future
In an interview, Doby was asked if he had any specific hopes or plans, and he responded by saying, “Here’s how I’ve described it. Some of the long-dead people of Wyoming determined that the cities and towns were going to provide the essential services to live a civilized life. That includes water systems, sewer systems, police, fire, electric and garbage. In other areas of the country a lot of the time those services were private. Here in Wyoming, we decided that that was going to be a function of the cities and towns. That should be the main focus of the city.”
Doby explained the city’s focus should be on providing services at a reasonable and fair cost.
“As I come into this job, I have found it is functioning well,” Doby told the Telegram. “We’re providing all the essential services of life. I want to keep it functioning. I don’t have any plans for any great changes. I haven’t seen much need to change anything in the first week I’ve been here. It’s almost like if things are running well, you won’t even notice us. It’s when things don’t run that you will notice us.”
At this time, Doby does not have any plans to make any major changes, however, he did say that that would change if necessary. Currently, he is watching several issues of concern like the economy, inflation and fuel prices.
“I like transparency,” Doby explained. “I think Mayor Adams worked hard for that in the way we do the council meetings and the opportunity for the public to talk there. I think if you’re not transparent, everybody just assumes something nefarious is going on. The citizens have a right to know what’s going on.”
“I think Adams made great strides to make the city government transparent and accessible to citizens,” Doby continued. “I want to continue that certainly. I want to continue to have a good relationship with the press and continue the setup with KERM.”
Moving forward, Doby hopes to have a good relationship with the city as a whole, both the people and the employees, the county commissioners and state representatives.