plan rejected for housing chief
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
Had it not been turned down
by Blaine County and the city of Ketchum, the new Blaine-Ketchum Housing
Authority would be paying its new executive director a base salary plus $2,500
as an incentive for each new affordable housing unit completed in the county.
The failed pay plan was
disclosed June 4 at the authorityís annual meeting attended by only one news
reporter, two spectators and a member of the groupís transportation committee,
Outgoing acting chairman
David Kipping said after the proposed incentive pay plan was rejected by the
county and Ketchum, the housing authority then approved a $75,000 salary for
Executive Director Dick Duncan.
Blaine County Commissioner
Sarah Michael, who said the housing authority wanted to pay Duncan a $60,000
salary and $2,500 for each new affordable housing unit, later confirmed details
of the plan for the Mountain Express.
"Thatís not the way
government does business," she said.
Duncan said there now are
about 20 occupied affordable housing units with 70 to 80 units proposed or in
Kipping also said an official
told him, whose name he didnít disclose, that such an incentive plan for
Duncan "might produce excessive compensation." He said he accepted the
rejection by the county and city.
"The purse strings
talk," he said. "When they talk, we listen."
Kipping then stepped down as
acting chairman after property management executive Tim Egan, of Ketchum, was
elected chairman by fellow authority members. Attorney Jim Laski, also of
Ketchum, was elected vice chairman.
In what may develop into a
future affordable housing possibility, Duncan said Mercy Housing, a nationwide
housing developer, was working with a landowner in Carey on a project that could
include affordable housing. Under consideration is restoring and moving the
former Iconoclast bookstore building to Carey for housing.
Housing commissioner Connie
McGowan said she was "opposed to putting money into Carey and taking people
away from employment centers" of the Wood River Valley.
However, Egan disagreed. He
said thereís "a crying need for housing closer (to jobs), even in
Carey," which is about an hour from Ketchum. Carey also is close to the
Craters of the Moon National Monument thatís expected to evolve as a more
prominent tourist attraction requiring service personnel.
The authority also approved a
tentative budget of some $120,000.
The countyís affordable
housing has four general levels of means-tested income levels to qualify for
buying or leasing, beginning around $14,900 and rising to incomes of about
Developers of multiple
housing are given incentives for setting aside some of their dwellings as