Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Burke kicks off council campaign

Job growth, airport relocation seen as key issues

Express Staff Writer

If Hailey City Councilwoman Martha Burke is re-elected to a fourth consecutive term in November, she will continue to focus on improving the city's economy and taking part in the discussions of where to relocate Friedman Memorial Airport.

Burke made the commitment Friday, Sept. 16, at a gathering at her home of 31 years in Hailey. The event kicked off what she hopes will be a successful re-election campaign for council seat 1.

"I hope desperately that it is," Burke said.

Although Burke said she could have held the gathering someplace else, she said the home where she raised her two daughters was ideal.

"This is the roost. This is the 30 years of why I care," Burke said.

About 15 Hailey residents attended the casual event where Burke spoke about the issues that concern her most. City Councilman Don Keirn, who is running for re-election to seat 2 in November, was also in attendance.

In a short address, Keirn said he hopes to see the current City Council remain in place after the elections.

"I think the whole council has been a great team," he said.

Keirn's most focused remarks were on relocating the airport and attracting quality jobs to the area.

"We need to have jobs here that pay enough so our young people come back," he said.

Keirn said that like Burke, he looks forward to getting down to the business of the airport relocation.

"Let's start working," he said.

Burke's first experience as an elected official was as a freshman city councilwoman in January 1994. Only the fall before, then-Mayor Keith Roark had named her to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Burke said some of the same issues she faced in those days still exist, except for one key difference.

"The challenges haven't gone away," she said. "Now the stakes are higher, the problems bigger. It's about protecting what we value here."

As of Tuesday afternoon, Burke and Keirn were the only candidates to have filed for the two open seats on the council.

The deadline for candidates to file for public office in Idaho municipalities is Sept. 30.

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