Changing of the guard in Ketchum
Charlat to take over Noels seat
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Theres soon to be a changing of the guard on the Ketchum City
On Nov. 2, Ketchum voters replaced incumbent Councilwoman Sue Noel with
Ketchum resident Maurice Charlat by a 470-to-291 margin. Incumbent Randy Hall decidedly
garnered the lions share of the votes with 530.
Noel, 61, said shes not sore.
"Its the way its supposed to be," she said of the
democratic process that displaced her.
Charlat, 66, will take his seat for the Jan. 3 city council meeting.
In an interview, Charlat said he was pleased to see citizens
political involvement alive and well in Ketchum.
"Its easy to tell that the democratic process is in good
shape when you go through what we did here," he said.
He pointed to the Politics and Pizza political forums, hosted by the Idaho
Mountain Express and the involvement of the newspapers in covering the election as
indicators of a healthy political area.
Charlat permanently moved to Ketchum in April, though he has been a
local landowner since the 1970s. Until 1997, he headed a family corporation that managed
the old Colonnade building on Sun Valley Road.
He said one of his priorities as a new councilman will be to try to get
an updated comprehensive plan and supporting ordinances in place.
"Its a question of priorities," he said.
In addition he said he is in support of incorporating affordable
housing in the north valley.
"I have absolutely no philosophical hang-ups on it, but I want to
find another way," he said, referring to The Fields at Warm Springs units.
He said that were he on the city council at the time of the citys
approval of The Fields, he would have voted "no" on Ketchums first
"I felt that the PUD [planned unit development] process that was
used tended to subvert zoning rights. Its kind of an open ended authority that
people are afraid of," he said.
This was a reference to the Warms Springs formula in which higher
housing densities were exchanged for affordable units.
On another of Ketchums current behemoth issuesthe planning
of McHanvilleCharlat said he is still neutral.
"Its coming down fast," he said, "but Im
still neutral on it. I dont know what the revenue expense details are."
Charlat said he wants to know whether the city would garner taxes from
the area that would cover its expenses in providing sewer, water, police, fire and other
city services should it be annexed.
Despite the loss of her city council seat, Noel said she will maintain
her seemingly tireless involvement in local decision making.
She will still be the chairwoman of the Blaine County Transportation
Committee and, last week, she was appointed chairwoman of the states Regional Public
Transportation Advisory Committee (RPTAC), a branch of the Idaho Transportation Department
that acts as liaison between public transportation providers, citizens and the
states public transportation department.
Also, she said she is currently applying for a seat on the Blaine
County Housing Authority.
"These are things Im passionately interested in, so I can
stay involved," she said.
She said there is nothing she would have done differently if she could
go back and again campaign for last weeks election.
"There was a pretty determined effort by a certain group of people
to see that I was not reelected," she said. "I doubt that anything I could have
done would have changed that, since I am not about to back down on standing up for issues
in which I believe."
Of her lost council seat she added, "I was far more disappointed
in the failure of the recreation bond than in the fact that I was not reelected. The good
it would have done for the countys youth would have been great."