Hailey officials set
goals for four-year
Procedures for development
applications to be improved
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
What direction Hailey city
government will take in the next four years was the focus of a
goal-setting meeting last week when city council members and city staff
sat down with Hailey City Administrator Jim Azumano.
Jim Azumano is the new city
administrator for the city of Hailey. At a special meeting last week
he facilitated a goal-setting workshop that will set city hall up to
tackle a four-year business plan. Expess photo by David N. Seelig
Azumano laid out a concept of goal
setting in terms of identifying a four-year business plan that focuses
City officials ran through the top
goals for the city by selecting priorities and items for the back
burner. Some items like a new white water park and economic development
were left to the purview of outside organizations. Mayor Susan McBryant
did say the city’s relationship with the Hailey Farmer’s Market needed
to be determined, however.
Long range airport planning is
being left to the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority, but there will be
City administrator’s goals
Mayor Susan McBryant noted that
there will be an election in two years that would result in a new
council. Azumano said in order to build continuity goals are simply
shifted in priority depending on the focus of each administration.
One of the ground rules he set out
was about conflicts of interest. If a goal directly affects a council
member’s personal business, it should be declared. Clarifying conflicts
of interest is one of Azumano’s own goals.
In terms of core values and policy
positions, Azumano said the city could be a leader at the state level by
writing exemplary ordinances, such as for lighting or water policies. He
said city staff must remain neutral, but the city council can also
respond in writing to the state legislative agenda if there is a
cohesive opinion within the council.
Azumano said another priority for
him was financial accountability and developing budget policies.
Priorities for the council
Councilman Rick Davis
said a high priority should be to identify the true cost of running the
city. Azumano, McBryant and other council members agreed. Hailey Fire
Chief Mike Chapman said the cost of the service analysis done by
Tischler and Associates seems to be targeted at existing levels of
Whether the city should be trying
to maintain existing levels that reflect national and states averages is
something to be considered, Azumano said. Citizen input is important
when deciding what is appropriate for local demands, he said. Davis
recommended reviewing economic development community business surveys.
The council discussed various methods for gathering public input
including putting press releases on the city Web site and inserts in the
Councilman Don Keirn said he
wanted to work with city staff on getting an update to the Tischler
Keirn also said identifying
portions of the city as Urban Renewal Districts could be a priority, but
there was some sentiment that Hailey couldn’t qualify as a slum and
"The way these projects work is
that the city can issue revenue bonds," Keirn said. "In Boise the city
started out with a 13 square block area, which was owned by the urban
renewal district from which the district can sell land to a developer
that comes up with a plan wanted by the district at below market price.
The project is then developed to the city’s standards with tax-exempt
financing to pay it off."
Combining the effort with a push
for Gem Community grants would be the ideal way to go forward, Keirn
Another high priority for McBryant
was to develop a punch list for developers submitting applications for
annexation to the city. The punch list would represent minimum items for
discussion, she said. Staff is working on a draft council will be
reviewing in mid-February.
The purpose of the list is to help
curb a recurring problem where the council gets hit with last minute
submissions of pertinent documents just before a public meeting making
it difficult to make a balanced review.
Azumano said calendars should be
set to ensure there is reasonable flow of application materials from
city council to city departments to the mayor to the Planning and Zoning
Commission and back to the city council.
"We should empower staff not to
accept late submissions or late letters," McBryant said.
Another priority is to assess city
zoning needs. The council described it as an inventory question.
McBryant said the planning department should handle it with input from
the city administrator and the mayor. Councilwoman Martha Burke said
inventory considerations should dovetail with the assessments of
determining the cost of city services per lot.
Dealing with city streets was
another priority for everyone. Burke said she would like to see a
traffic calming master plan that would require contributions from future
annexations and subdivisions.
City staff work
Code enforcement is a
priority for the planning department and there are funds in the budget
for an enforcement officer.
The parks management plan is an
ongoing issue McBryant said is critical because the city already has
parks it can’t manage. The issue was assigned to the city administrator
and the public works manager.
Coming changes to city ordinances
were being left to city departments, but council members chose to
assist. For example Davis said he wanted to work with the city attorney
on the city’s junk ordinance.
Back burner items
Azumano said a financial study
needs to be done before the city can consider taking a role in a
proposal for city cooperation in a public golf course in Quigley Canyon.
He said the city shouldn’t be taking business risks. McBryant said she
didn’t know the pace at which the project is moving.
Two other back burner items were a
transfer of development rights ordinance and a battle with the county
about who has say over the area of city impact between Hailey and