Friday, September 25, 2009

Hailey’s soul is not for sale


William F. Hughes lives in Hailey.

By WILLIAM F. HUGHES

Doug Brown's guest opinion supporting the Quigley Canyon development (Sept. 16) is so full of holes and so ill-informed, a response is warranted.

His concerns regarding "a lack of housing to meet growing demand" is astoundingly off-base in that it ignores the reality of an immense existing inventory supplying seven to 10 years of projected demand, while escalating foreclosures are continually adding to that supply. The inventory of deed-restricted, "affordable" housing units in Hailey remains static, as declining prices diminish any appeal.

The writer also seems to have no grasp of the critical nature of specific areas and habitat in sustaining viable wildlife populations.

"A few opponents compare this project to Sweetwater and Old Cutters. This is like comparing apples and oranges." Precisely. Sweetwater and Old Cutters are compact, city development. Sprawl out a narrowing canyon like East Fork is county development, requiring county expertise. East Fork would look entirely different if it were developed today, with homes clustered to conserve natural and service/protection resources, possibly including a wastewater treatment plant.

It is not surprising that most of the few supporters of the Quigley proposal either don't live in Hailey or have a vested interest in approval, or both. An overwhelming majority of Hailey's citizens are opposed to this annexation, their comments reflecting a depth of understanding of associated issues entirely absent in the hollow comments of proponents.

Hailey does not need to hire consultants to tell it what it is, or what it should be. Hailey recognizes itself in the mirror, and really isn't interested in cosmetic surgery, or any manifestations of the superficial, or impressing anyone.

Hailey's banks are the right size, as is Hailey's ego.

Hailey is content to be the first and only home of a majority of its inhabitants, and abhors social engineering and gates not intended for livestock.

Hailey has a sense of humor and doesn't take itself too seriously, laughing heartily at ostentatious displays of pretension and excess.

Hailey is responsible, having reduced water consumption by 30 percent.

Hailey is not and has no desire to be exclusive, and enjoys being a livable place for the diverse population that appreciates its gentle disposition and warmth.

Hailey is aware of the destructive nature of attachment, and is willing to let go of the airport.

Hailey understands the importance of humility, again finding humor at confusion over its indifference toward more grandiose aspirations.

Hailey hopes its elected officials possess the wisdom to make the distinction between sustainable growth and malignant speculation.

Hailey values its quality of life and appears willing to observe and learn about balance and equilibrium from the precious natural systems and wild inhabitants at its doorstep.

Hailey's soul is not for sale, at any price.




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