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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of January 15 - 21, 2003

Editorials

Housing comes
home to roost


The housing chickens have come home to roost in Ketchum.

City officials say recruiting employees is difficult because of the mismatch between wages and local housing costs.

Thatís no surprise.

The city faces the same problem local businesses face each time they recruit.

Yet, Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon tried to duck the larger issue last week when he moved to gut funding for the Blaine County Housing Authority. He wanted to spend the savings to create housing strictly for city employees.

Had the City Council gone along, businessesóthe ones who generate the revenues and collect the taxes that make up half the cityís budgetówould have been left to swing in the wind with no relief and no resources in sight.

The mayorís call to provide housing for public employees is on target, but the target is too small.

The city needs good employees and those employees need housing. Otherwise, streets donít get plowed, fires arenít suppressed, criminals arenít apprehended, water doesnít flow, waste doesnít get treated, buses donít run, and development isnít planned.

Yet, for the city to buy itself out of the problem while letting the people who cook the food, wash the dishes and sell the gear swing in the wind would have been grossly unfair.

The city has done nothing but make excuses about why it cannot create attainable housing within the city. Yet, when it comes to housing its own employees, the way and the means suddenly appear?

The City Council did the right thing by killing the proposal. Now itís time for city leaders to find a more equitable solution.

 

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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.