Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No to the merger


Consolidating Sun Valley with Ketchum is a non-starter. Sun Valley has excellent, well-managed police and fire departments and a budget surplus. Ketchum has problems. The truth is that Ketchum wants Sun Valley's money. Given the disproportion in vote count, Sun Valley would soon find itself governed by Ketchum, and the fleecing of Sun Valley taxpayers would follow.

Councilman Dave Chase is pushing this idea. A politician recently stated, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. It is an opportunity to do the things you thought you could not do before." Apparently Chase agrees. Last year Chase voted to spend nearly a million dollars of taxpayers' money outside of Sun Valley, including over $350,000 to the Sun Valley-Ketchum chamber for marketing. He envisions more marketing dollars if consolidation succeeds.

Chase's proposal is self-serving. More marketing dollars means more dollars for advertising. The Web site owned by Chase would benefit directly from these dollars. Chase would be more credible if his council attendance record were not so abysmal. Chase missed several scheduled meetings last year, including two out of three budget workshops.

Upon returning, for the third budget session, Chase insisted on reducing police and fire department funding as well as money for much-needed road repairs so as to free up more money for marketing. The council majority disagreed. Chase is well paid by Sun Valley citizens; he should be embarrassed to accept his pay.

A supporter of consolidation informs us that "if consolidation succeeds, Ketchum would have more say over the management of the Sun Valley Co." Frankly, the thought of Ketchum politicians' having more say over the Sun Valley Co. or Sun Valley scares the hell out of me.

Franz M. Suhadolnik

Sun Valley




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