Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Eat pizza, hear politics


City as well as rural dwellers sometimes forget that their lifestyles and their environment are powerfully shaped week in and week out by decisions of three people who preside over Blaine County government.

In fact, as Blaine County heads into a period of its greatest growth, the County Commission is wrestling with a blueprint of how to shape and manage 21st century growth through planning and zoning decisions that will remain in force for years.

The commission also is one of two "owners" of Friedman Memorial Airport (the other is the city of Hailey), whose appointees to the Airport Authority decide policies involving that major economic engine.

Tonight, three of four Democratic candidates vying for a seat on the commission will square off in a Pizza and Politics Forum, hosted by the Mountain Express, at 6:30 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey to argue why each is best equipped to serve.

Residents interested in, and concerned about, the future of Blaine County will be better-informed voters as a result.

Democratic candidates in the county's only contested primary election are self-employed outfitter James Super; county Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Larry Schoen; Bellevue City Councilwoman Tammy Eaton; and businessman Carl Johnston, all running for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Dennis Wright.

What should appeal to tonight's audience is that the forum will be short on unchallenged campaign speeches, and long on questions that reveal the candidates' thinking on the issues that touch the lives of Blaine County residents.




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