Friday, November 2, 2007

Hailey City Council grid questions

Editor's note: In the Wednesday, Oct. 31, Mountain Express, the Q&A answers provided by candidate Fritz Haemmerle were mistakenly omitted and replaced by a duplicate set of Stefanie Marvel's answers. The Express regrets the error.

There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks regarding the revitalization of Hailey's downtown business core. What specific actions would you take to attract new businesses and make local businesses more competitive?

There's a potential for a number of affordable housing units to come online in Hailey in the near future. What role should the city play in procuring and managing affordable units?

The city is currently deliberating on including TDRs (transfer of development rights) into its area of city impact agreement with the county. Do you think the city should pursue a TDR program to help control growth? If so, how would such a program function?

Do you support the proposed consolidation of the Hailey and Bellevue fire departments? Would it be wise to pursue similar actions with other essential services such as law enforcement?

Would you support future annexations into the city? If yes, what amenities should developers provide Hailey residents?

Geoffrey Moore

Age: 51

Occupation: Job superintendent for the Ketchum-based contracting company Kearns McGinnis & Van Der Berg; retired 11-year veteran of the Hailey Fire Department.

Government experience: none

Why running: "I saw a need for honest and unbiased leadership in Hailey government. I've been witness to Planning & Zoning and City Council meetings for the past two years, have an in depth knowledge of current issues facing our city. This is the next logical step for me."

I would work with the Jim Spinelli, former city administrator and current executive director of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, and create an ad-hoc committee of local business owners to find out their issues and solutions and, if necessary, amend ordinances. The addition of new business helps with competition.

Subdivisions and annexations are what generated Hailey's windfall of affordable housing units, with the Sweetwater subdivision and the Old Cutters annexation. The city of Hailey doesn't necessarily want to become the managers of these assets, but could contract services with the Blaine County Housing Authority or with ARCH.

TDRs could be a useful tool for Hailey, knowing that the county will have an impact on our city through the use of TDRs. We could use them to preserve historical structures by transferring their development rights elsewhere in the city. Using careful planning and consideration when it comes to TDRs is the key.

I believe fire consolidation is what the public wanted. This is a step forward for a regional south county fire district. I would look at a contract with the Sheriff's Office, but hesitant with moving forward without the cost and full financial disclosure and the consideration of not forfeiting any of Hailey's assets.

Hailey will always be receiving applications for annexations into the city. Each application would be looked at on a case by case basis, with the main priority being its benefits to the city of Hailey. Amenities should include parks, access to the backcountry, sidewalks, and making future subdivisions walkable and people friendly.

Stefanie Marvel

Age: 58

Occupation: Textile artist.

Education: University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Government experience: Hailey Planning & Zoning Commission, 2004-2007, current chair. Hailey Development Impact Fee Committee, Transportation Committee, and Arts Committee, 2005-2007. Hailey Parks & Lands Board, 2001-2004, founding member. Hailey Library Board, 1987-1997, nine years as president. Spearheaded the bond election to purchase the Fox Building for a new library and city offices.

Why running: "I am running for Hailey City Council because I have a positive vision for Hailey and a proven ability to get things done within city government."

Revitalizing the downtown core of Hailey involves making it as attractive and people friendly as possible. Transportation infrastructure is key to moving people through and within Hailey safely and efficiently. Widening sidewalks to allow for sidewalk cafes and retail activity is one small way the city can make downtown more attractive.

The city should be a partner in acquiring and managing affordable housing units. I don't think the city should be directly engaged in managing the housing, as regional entities have more expertise in this area. The affordable housing acquired should be focused on the actual community needs.

TDR programs do not control growth. They are intended to control sprawl and manage growth by moving the growth to areas better able to handle it. The city should always be responsible for deciding future areas of increased density within the city limits.

I support an open dialogue with others on the possible consolidation of fire and police services. Consolidation of Hailey and Bellevue fire departments and other essential services only makes sense if no loss of service or safety results and costs are not increased.

There are some areas within Hailey's area of impact that will be practical annexations, if designed and proposed in a way to complement the Comprehensive Plan. The developers would need to provide support for improving current infrastructure and services. These include police and fire protection, transportation, water and sewer, parks and the library.

Fritz Haemmerle

Age: 48

Occupation: Attorney, private law practice.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Boise State University. Juris Doctor, University of Idaho.

Government experience: Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 1989-1995. Appointed and elected Prosecutor, 1991-1995. Special Master, State Water Court, 1995-1999.

Why running: "I perceive that many important historic aspects of the city still exits. One of those is the residential core of the city that needs to be protected at all costs. I want to make sure that government represents all people, equally. Government officials must make a commitment to govern in an open and transparent manner."

Hailey needs to make sure business remains, as much as possible, in the downtown core. Second, it needs to make sure that it helps make downtown vital by supporting events sponsored by businesses. Third, it must be careful not to add to the cost of business with unreasonable impact fees.

There are three possibilities. One, having the units managed by the BCHA. Two, the city can manage the units. Three, allow the private sector to manage them. All three possibilities should continue to be explored. Ultimately, the question is what management is in the best interest of the city.

I'm not convinced that the TDR program is being pursued for its intended purpose, and a very difficult market analysis must be concluded before TDRs are considered. Ultimately, the only way for the city to control growth is through responsible zoning and not to allow rezones or overt PUD waivers for any particular developer.

Hailey should consider consolidation provided that it doesn't decrease services and can be provided at a better cost. If the consolidation of the Hailey and Bellevue fire services works, then more consolidation should be considered. For police services, Hailey needs to make sure that it exists solely to preserve the safety of its citizens.

The city is lacking in affordable recreation for its citizens and children. Therefore, it would help if developers offer public recreational facilities, such as golf courses, parks, trail systems, and public access, with some guarantee that those recreational amenities can be brought at a low price for everyone's benefit.

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