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For the week of January 9 - 15, 2002


Simon, Gourlay, Potters sworn into office

Express Staff Writer

Ketchumís new mayor said he will run a government of the people and for the people.

Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon is sworn into office Monday by City Clerk Sandy Cady. Express photo by Willy Cook

After taking the oath of office Monday night, Mayor Ed Simon swore in Councilwoman Chis Potters and Councilman Baird Gourlay and began to settle into his new role.

He told city residents who attended the meeting that under his leadership the city will be open to its citizens and accountable for its actions.

"We have an obligation to inform the public about what weíre going to do," he said. "The process and procedure of government are as important as what we accomplish."

Specifically, Simon said the Ketchum City Council will not vote on agenda items that the public has not had adequate time to review. And his administration will give more specific notice of executive sessions than has been in the past.

Simon said he will host a town hall meeting within the next five weeks to compile and gauge public opinions on key issues.

And following through on campaign promises, Simon ordered the cityís recently-revised election ordinance to be put on the next city council agenda, Jan. 21, for further consideration. He also promised to revisit the cityís decision to close Ninth Street on a trial basis.

Nearly a year ago, the city council adopted changes to the cityís election ordinance, which require city council candidates to run on a per-seat basis rather than at large. The revised ordinance also established a runoff requirement for city council candidates not obtaining more than 50 percent of the votes cast for their seats.

Most citizens who commented on the revisions opposed them, but the city council voted 3 to 1 to implement them anyway. Councilman Maurice Charlat opposed the changes and said Monday he is pleased that Simon plans to raise the issue again.

Putting a separate issue to bed, Simon said he no longer plans to fire Ketchum City Attorney Margaret Simms.

"I donít anticipate that the city attorney and I will have any problems," he said.

Late in December, Simon made public his plans to dissolve the cityís legal department and "out-source" the cityís legal needs. Without city council approval, however, the action would not conform to state law, according to a legal opinion obtained by the city council from a Boise law firm.

But above all, Simon stressed that his administration will be open to the public.

"I vow that there will be no decision made outside of the publicís hearing," he said. "We should be accountable for what we do, and for our failures, at least say that itís not due to a lack of effort."


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.