who prevailed in last week’s election are calling on the various
political camps to come together to work on the problems facing the valley’s
should be heeded, but not without some reflection on the election just
campaigns in Ketchum and Sun Valley turned nasty in their final weeks.
It was hard
to tell whether candidates or their supporters were responsible for the
background noise that included character assassination, machine politics
the likes of which this valley has never seen before, and an astonishing
level of misstatement of facts.
organized political campaigns educate voters and give candidates an edge
in name and platform recognition.
worst, door to door campaigning, phone trees and cozy neighborhood chats
can fuel unfounded fears and distort distinguished records. They can
create irreparable damage between inhabitants of small towns who must
manage to live together in the years after each city election.
naïve, but we’d like to see a little less fury and a lot more fact in
future campaigns. We’d like to see better discussion of positions on
matters like parking, traffic, development, housing and the economy.
around voters heard a lot of candidates who ran on the "listening to
the people" platform — whatever that is. They also heard a lot of
vague allegations of things not being right in city governments. The local
grapevine was hot with rumors that no one would claim as fact in public.
This is not
to dismiss character as a valid consideration in selecting leaders. This
is not to say that voters don’t have a right to change just for the sake
election fallout in small towns has a long half-life when campaigns stray
from issues and devolve into raw underground power grabs.
residents in the valley have come from bigger places in the country where
no-holds-barred campaigns are the norm, not the exception. This is one
noxious weed that should not be allowed to take root here.
newly elected city leaders have a great opportunity to take the high road.
They should make sure the public’s business is done in public. They
should support solutions that will ease the growing conflict between
developers and drawbridgers.
old axes and nursing old grudges will not make the valley what everyone
wants it to be: the best mountain valley on the planet in which to live
truly time to come together.