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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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For the week of November 14 - 20, 2001

  News

Meet Ed Simon, Ketchumís mayor-elect


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

Ed Simon had been Ketchumís mayor-elect barely a day when he began trying to mend fences.

Ketchumís mayor-elect, Ed Simon, celebrates his win with friends on Nov. 6. From left to right are Shirley Held, Tom Held, Simon, Susan Springer, Marty Mathews, Pam Ritzau, Tom Harned and Kirsten Ritzau. Express photo by Willy Cook

Before hopping a plane to Europe, Simon said he called or e-mailed several city employees and officials, including Fire Chief Tom Johnson and Police Chief Cal Nevland, who endorsed David Hutchinson for the Nov. 6 mayoral election.

"As far as Iím concerned, we all have to work together," he said. "There are no ifs, ands or buts,"

Simon, 54, won the cityís top job by a substantial margin. Simon got 518 votes, or 49 percent; to Hutchinsonís 313, or 30 percent. Mickey Garcia received 77 votes. Janet Dunbar got 72, and Chase Hamilton got 62.

Simon will become mayor of Ketchum on Jan. 7, when he is sworn in at Ketchum City Hall. It will be the second bout of public service for the long-time Ketchum citizen.

In 1992, after only 10 months as a councilman, Simon and two other council members were recalled by citizens regarding police department personnel matters. But that didnít keep Simon down. He was soundly defeated for a city council seat in 1995, but tossed his hat in the ring again this fall.

"Even after the recall, I was always involved," he said. "Iíve never been afraid to be before the firing squad. If you have a commitment, you take your chances. Involvement is just in my nature."

That said, Simon said he was a little surprised by the margin of victory he achieved against his fellow mayoral candidates Nov. 6.

"I had an idea that I had a shot, but I never expected 1,050 voters (at the polls), and I was surprised with the number that I did receive," he said.

Simonís win culminated a month-long advertising dialogue, primarily between himself and incumbent Mayor Hutchinson. But Simon said his campaign was meant to target issues, not personalities.

Now, he said he is ready to move in to the mayorís office, and is anxious to begin attempting to build consensus.

"What Iím trying to do is get people involved and bring people together, to come up with solutions to some of the problems we can try to mitigate together," he said.

Among the first things he said he will do when he takes office in January is put together a town meeting to gauge and record citizensí thoughts on issues.

"If people are interested in pursuing it further, perhaps we can form some public committees," he said. "When people are involved in the process, I think theyíll be happier with the results, because theyíve had a roll with coming to that result."

And despite his active roll in politics throughout the past decade, Simon didnít come to Ketchum to participate in local government. Rather, his early years in the Wood River Valley began, like many valley residents, as a ski bum.

After finishing law school in New York, Ketchumís mayor-elect trailed a friend to Sun Valley in the fall of 1975.

"So I came here just to ski for a winter, and I got 110 days in that winter. I lived in Bellevue and came up (to Ketchum) twice a day," he said.

He stayed for a year and a half, until a winter drought set in, and then left the area for another year and a half. He returned for good in October, 1978, and established his law practice in the spring of 1979.

"I established the practice out of necessity, because I ran out of money," he said.

He put an ad in the Idaho Mountain Express and "prayed the telephone would ring after the paper was published."

It did. But the law practice wasnít Simonís only job during his early, lean years in Sun Valley.

"I always had three jobs, two jobs besides lawyer, and that was probably for a couple of years, so I know what itís like to have three jobs."

He moved around a lot, too.

"I lived in five different places for the first several years, so I learned how difficult housing was, even then. Though the price was inexpensive, that wasnít the issue. The issue was having (a supply of) long-term rental units.

"So I feel I identify with people who are looking for decent jobs, people who are looking for decent housing."

Simon said heís learned a lot about the city heís called home for 25 years while campaigning this fall, too.

"I have been really encouraged by a lot of the new residents," he said. "These people who are willing to get involved and have the time and the energy to participate. I want to include them with the older residents who have the tradition and the history.

"I donít want Ketchum to become a community of the new residents and the old residents, the us and the them. I want it to be our community."

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.