Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chase to run for Sun Valley council

Newcomer to seek two-year term in office

Express Staff Writer

Dave Chase announced on Monday his intention to run for the Sun Valley City Council. Photo by Trevor Schubert

One more candidate has entered the starting blocks in the race for a spot on the Sun Valley City Council.

Dave Chase, 42, who was appointed to the council by Mayor Jon Thorson in June following Councilwoman Ann Agnew's resignation, said that while other candidates may "run for office, I'll jog."

Sun Valley's Nov. 6 election will determine the fate of three council seats—two with four-year terms and one with a two-year term, the seat vacated by Agnew. Chase said he plans to run for the two-year term, a decision he said rests on the fact that "this whole thing is still pretty new to me, and things are still pretty dynamic with my family and business."

Chase said the time and energy commitment required for a seat on the council should not be taken lightly, but is a challenge he is ready to embrace.

Chase is a partner with Altus Alliance, a Seattle-based venture consulting firm specializing primarily in the technology industry. He volunteers as a strategic advisor to Climate Solutions, a non-profit, non-partisan, economic development organization focused on energy. Chase has also worked in marketing and at executive positions for Microsoft. He was recently appointed to the Ketchum Community Development Corp. and has worked with the Wood River Economic Partnership. Chase is also the owner of SunValleyOnline, an Internet-based blog and news site.

He said his reasons for running include a desire to have an active role in working toward what he calls "the healthiest community in America," and specifically the five facets of what make up such a community.

Chase's healthiest community includes physical and natural surroundings, lifelong learning, recreation, a healthy economy and sustainable energy and water resources.

Chase said he also looks forward to continuing the productive relationship between the city and Sun Valley Co.

"I'd be hard-pressed to think of a resort owner that would be better than the Holding family," Chase said. "I couldn't imagine another resort owner doing a better job of preserving open space while continuing to proceed with some development. Other resorts have done a better job of greenwashing, but the greenest form of development is no development and they have done dramatically less than virtually every other major resort."

His platform also includes the idea that the city of Sun Valley should take an active role in regional issues, with transportation and workforce housing as prime examples of where regional cooperation is necessary.

"Transportation is a great example," Chase said. "Whether the issue is road or air transportation, Sun Valley is impacted even if the topic at hand may be Highway 75, which doesn't run down the center of town as it does for the rest of the valley's cities. Promoting choices for transportation can cut down on traffic, pollution and parking woes for Sun Valley's citizens."

As for workforce housing, "my approach has been to ask Rebekah Helzel to provide the council with an assessment of all of the tools available to tackle these issues. The idea is to stack rank those tactics that are highest impact with lowest effort and resistance."

Helzel founded ARCH, a nonprofit organization that promotes community housing in the Wood River Valley.

Chase said he also encourages housing trusts and helping employers with down payments.

He also plans to explore if it's possible "to utilize BLM land to address the core issue of housing land costs. In general, I'm a big advocate of protecting open space but using federal lands to house firefighters, police, teachers, etc., it seems worth evaluating."

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