Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beware of scare tactics


I have been dismayed by the misinformation and scare tactics being spread by opponents of the possible consolidation of the towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum and, in particular, the personal attacks directed at Sun Valley Councilman Dave Chase and Ketchum Councilman Charles Conn. The suggestion that two individuals as successful in their professional careers and dedicated to public service as Dave and Charles—both of whom if consolidation is approved by the voters would be subjecting themselves to potentially early replacement in their council positions—have anything but the best interests of their constituents at heart is truly a low blow. Indeed, both have pledged not to run for re-election.

It is essential that all of our public officials put their town's interests ahead of their own. A good place to start would be to end all the overheated talk about "hostile takeovers"—consolidation is a citizen-driven process after all.

Whether you think you support or are opposed to consolidation, it has to make sense in these difficult economic times to at least give consideration to whether two towns with a combined population of under 5,000 should continue to spend taxpayer money on separate police and fire departments, P&Zs and other governmental functions. Dave and Charles should be applauded for getting this public dialogue started.

Finally, I trust that that cooler heads on the Sun Valley Council will prevail and the plan reported in last week's paper to spend taxpayer money on a mailing telling Sun Valley voters that they should not sign the consolidation petition unless they are legally registered under penalty of voter fraud will be scrapped. This smacks of voter intimidation pure and simple and, again, is inconsistent with the civil public dialogue that this important issue deserves.

John Grabow

Sun Valley




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