Hailey mayor prepares new
Wants to bring jobs,
businesses to city
some long-term goals I’ll be bringing forward in the new year"
MCBRYANT, Hailey mayor
Express Staff Writer
Susan McBryant said last week she is eager to leave behind the turmoil
surrounding the resignation last month of former mayor Al Lindley and establish
a new set of forward-thinking goals for the city.
In an interview
with the Idaho Mountain Express Thursday, Dec. 5, McBryant said she believes the
state of the city’s affairs is generally very good, but city residents and
staff can expect some changes.
has their own manner or style of doing business," she said. "I’m
very efficient, so things will get done in a timely manner."
"I will not work in a void. I will work within Idaho Code."
appointed to be the city’s mayor on Nov. 25 to replace Lindley, who after his
resignation Nov. 8 was accused of sometimes independently making key decisions
for the city.
The new mayor
said she has devoted a significant amount of time in the last two weeks
reviewing the city’s business affairs and getting settled into the
putting in an awful lot of time right now," she said. "I would like to
be moving forward by the middle of January."
McBryant, 48, is
a native of American Falls, Idaho, and has lived in Hailey since 1979. She
graduated from the University of Idaho before getting married in 1976 and
relocating to Thousand Oaks, Calif., for a three-year period.
With her husband
of 26 years, David McBryant, she has since 1995 owned and directed Sun Country
Management, a Sun Valley-based homeowners’ association management company.
on the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission from November 1992 to January 1997,
when she was appointed to the Hailey City Council to replace outgoing council
member Mary Ann Mix. (Mix left the council after she was elected to sit on the
Blaine County Board of Commissioners.)
elected to finish the last two years of Mix’s term in November 1997, and was
re-elected to the seat for a four-year term in November 1999.
She was sworn in
as the city’s new mayor on Nov. 25, after the City Council unanimously voted
to appoint her to replace Lindley, who abruptly resigned Nov. 8 after council
members expressed a unanimous vote of no confidence in his performance.
As the new mayor,
McBryant said she wants to first achieve a smooth transition into the office,
and then proceed with developing a long-range plan for managing the city.
She said her
immediate goals for the city include ensuring the timely construction of a new
city water tank proposed for a site in Quigley Canyon and the installation of
water meters in neighborhoods throughout the city.
"I have some
long-term goals I’ll be bringing forward in the new year," she said.
McBryant said one
of the principal challenges facing city officials in the future will be to
attract and retain businesses that provide quality jobs.
dollars back into our community, that’s our greatest challenge," she
said, pointing to a caravan of commuters on Hailey’s Main Street heading north
The mayor noted
that she believes city officials effectively managed a pronounced period of
growth in Hailey in the 1990s, and that the city overall is poised for a
She said that she
and members of the City Council "don’t necessarily have the same
goals," but do share some common values that will encourage cooperation on
"This is a
body that listens to each other," she said.
whether she thought city officials would need to cooperate with the county and
other cities on certain matters, McBryant said she hopes to work toward
balancing the placement of jobs and housing throughout the Wood River Valley.
She noted that
Hailey has a relatively large population and only a moderate number of
"good jobs," while Ketchum has significantly more jobs and
considerably less affordable housing.
"We need to
position (the jobs) where the people are," she said.
As for whether
she thought she and members of the Hailey City Council should elaborate on their
reasons for expressing a vote of no confidence in Lindley last month, McBryant
said she believes the matter is "old news" that does not need to be
She noted that it
has been the individual choice of city officials not to disclose details about
alleged problems they claimed Lindley had handling of the job as chief
certainly don’t have a gag order put on us," McBryant said.
She said her
personal reasons for losing confidence in Lindley were largely related to his
ineffective handling of day-to-day business affairs—not matters that directly
acknowledged that she was most concerned with Lindley’s alleged signature of
two contracts on behalf of the city without first receiving the appropriate
approval from the City Council.
members of the council also have declined to comment on two alleged grievances
filed by city employees against Lindley for alleged verbal sexual harassment,
noting that the case is a confidential matter.
She said she did
not anticipate that the city would pursue any legal complaints against the
former mayor for any inappropriate actions he allegedly took.
think we intend to spend any further dollars on legal action than what has
already been spent," she said.
that although she "seriously entertained" running against Lindley for
mayor in the 2001 election, she has not definitively determined whether she will
run in the November 2003 election to retain the office she gained last month.
where we are in a year," she said.