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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 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. 

For the week of October 29 - November 4, 2003


Election Endorsements

It’s been a great local political season. With 15 candidates running for city offices in Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley, the cities have enjoyed politics in abundance. Residents will get what they elect. It’s imperative not to drop out on Election Day and avoid the polls. Races in the valley are frequently won or lost by a mere handful of votes—every vote is important.

The Mountain Express throws in its two cents every election season with endorsements. The endorsements are based on candidates’ public statements and interviews printed in this newspaper.

The Express looked for credible leaders with knowledge of city government and planning and zoning mechanisms. We looked for support for the following:

1) Control of sprawl by containing population densities within cities,

2) Mass transit to relieve traffic congestion,

3) Creation of affordable housing to keep working families in the valley,

4) Spending local-option tax money to support tourism,

5) Creation of livable, pedestrian friendly communities with well-maintained services and parks, and

6) Financial good sense.


Hailey mayor

Mayor: Susan McBryant is the clear choice in the race that has become a grudge match between her and the former mayor who walked away from the office when facing allegations of sexual harassment from city staff. He then changed his mind—too late. The issue in this race is largely leadership style. McBryant has steered the city with a confident hand, calmed choppy political waters, and has the city back on track in dealing with issues that include burgeoning growth, the airport, a potential golf course subdivision development and the economy.


Ketchum City Council

Randy Hall has ridden out the storms of City Hall, but always bobs to the top. He’s fearless in the face of opposition and tenacious in his desire to represent Ketchum well. He was the sole vote against approval of employee raises until the city works out its budget problems. He rejected a large hotel proposal the first time around, but approved it when it was scaled down and re-designed. He’s pragmatic, not starry-eyed, about the prospect of a new City Hall. He has supported initiatives that make the city livable and may yet keep it from becoming just another hollow shell.

Greg Strong brings the knowledge gained on the planning and zoning commission to this seat. Such experience is key in a city grappling with downtown development, neighborhood, community housing and parking issues. He’s committed to fixing the city’s missing sidewalks. Strong’s business experience is a plus for a city in need of balancing its budget. His low-key style could smooth some of the council’s rough edges.


Sun Valley mayor

Jon Thorson is the choice in a race that may leave Sun Valley voters with no mayor to represent them in negotiations with the company that wants to redevelop Elkhorn—a big and potentially controversial project. Latham Williams acknowledges a clear conflict of interest on any issue involving CG Elkhorn because his wife is a real estate broker whose company holds an exclusive contract to represent the development. Trouble is, Thorson’s son-in-law is a Realtor at the same company. The relationship may not qualify as a conflict of interest under the law, but it will be next to impossible for the public to see the difference. So, that leaves voters to distinguish between the two on matters of judgment. William’s clintstennett.com fiasco spanned more than a year. He may have cleaned it up only two weeks ago, but he still left ownership of a state senator’s name unclear. Thorson’s candidacy offers the city a clean start with someone dedicated solely to good city management, clear city development policies, and public meetings held at times that are accessible even to people with jobs.


Sun Valley City Council

Seat 1: Matt Colesworthy has the edge in this race because he advocates active pursuit of several kinds of affordable housing as well as a valley-wide transit system. Blair Boand has experience on the Planning and Zoning Commission, but would limit housing to commercial developments and is enthusiastic mostly about the possibility of a jitney service in Ketchum. Otherwise the two are on the same page.

Seat 2: Incumbent Lud Renick ran unopposed for this seat when he was elected, so he was essentially an unknown quantity. Known now is his support for tourism, community housing within Sun Valley (a previously unmentionable subject there), control of hillside development and open space between Ketchum and Sun Valley. However, Renick should take a page from opponent Milt Adam’s book and rethink the idea of supporting a jitney service in Ketchum, where Sun Valley shops.



City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

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.