Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Candidates start to step forward

Simon, Chubb plan to challenge for Ketchum City Council


By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

Ed Simon Nils Ribi

Political hopefuls were able to begin filing for candidacy in cities throughout the Wood River Valley Monday, and so far a handful of contenders have thrown their hats into the ring.

The filing period runs through Friday, Sept. 4, at 5:30 p.m. The elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 3.

In Sun Valley, where two City Council seats are up for election, council President Nils Ribi is seeking re-election and first-time candidate Bob Youngman has also filed. Councilman Dave Chase has said he will not run for a second term.

In Ketchum, Mayor Randy Hall has at least one confirmed opponent in Mickey Garcia, a familiar face in local elections. In the last decade, Garcia has mounted a variety of campaigns for Ketchum mayor, Ketchum City Council and the Blaine County Commission.

While Phyllis Shafran, mother of former Ketchum Councilman Steve Shafran, said in June that she is interested in challenging Hall as well, she has yet to file. A regular at City Hall, Shafran has often questioned elected officials on matters ranging from the budget to the number of public hearings held on important issues, such as the city's contract for service with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office.

For the two council seats up for election in Ketchum, only council President Baird Gourlay is seeking re-election. City Clerk Sandy Cady said Gourlay has collected the necessary five signatures from registered voters and the Blaine County clerk is in the process of verifying them.

Ketchum Councilman Charles Conn declared in the spring that he will not seek re-election. Hoping to take a seat are residents Lee Chubb and former Mayor Ed Simon. Both Chubb and Simon have been frequent attendees at council meetings and have been critical of a number of decisions made by the current administration.

Chubb spoke frequently against the now-approved Warm Springs Ranch Resort on the grounds that the project is too large.

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Simon, who was recalled from his council seat in 1992 and later elected mayor in 2001, recently spoke against the city's contract for service with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office.

The Ketchum election is an "open" election, in which the two candidates with the most votes will win seats.

In Hailey, incumbent City Council members Don Keirn and Martha Burke will both run to keep their seats, the only ones up for grabs this fall. No contenders have yet stepped forward to run against them.

In Bellevue, three of five seats on the City Council are up for election.

In Carey, Mayor Rick Baird is stepping down after three terms in office. Former Councilman Randy Patterson has expressed interest in filling the position and is expected to file for candidacy soon.

Two City Council seats will also be up for election in Carey. So far, no one has stepped forward to run for the seats.

Jon Duval: jduval@mtexpress.com




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