Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Editorial was anti-democratic

The editorial headlined "Needless distraction" in the July 13 issue shows the true subjective colors of our local "news" provider. Reintroducing the uncivil name-calling dialogue it has so often pontificated against, the Mountain Express opens itself and its owners to the same level of discourse set forth in its editorial.

The citizens of Ketchum are currently engaged in their rightful effort to present to the voters of Ketchum the opportunity to express by their secret ballot vote their preference for the form of their city government should not be vilified as "a political faction that hates ... ."

These are concerned citizens. These are people who show up at meetings. These are citizens who are not afraid to comment on the process, nor on the details, of city governance. Whether this "political faction" represents a majority view or not should be left to the proof of the ballot box.

I myself, a 40-year observer of Ketchum politics, have become ambivalent in regard to what the editorial called the "accomplishments" of the current regime. My concern now is for the future health of this little resort mountain village and the tourist economy that must thrive here for Ketchum's real estate values to regain some of their recent losses.

The instability of the policies and the incivility of the political discourse of the current "strong-mayor" form of government have eroded and will continue to erode the feeling of confidence in resident and nonresident property owners alike.

A stable, professionally run city government of the "manager/council" type may bring some quieting of those concerns to current and future property owners.

That emotions run very high is evident in the unwarranted editorial attack by the writer of the Mountain Express piece. Ketchum does not "belong" to the current regime, to the mayor of yore or to his wife's newspaper, nor to the retired administrator, the latter three all noncitizens of the town, nor to the gutless folks that Mayor Hall referred to at a recent meeting who only express their thoughts in private conversation with him because they don't want their customers, clients, patients, whoever, to know that they have opinions about the business of the city, but whose opinions Mr. Hall and the Mountain Express revere over the opinions of the "hate" "faction" who speak out in public.

Citizens of Ketchum who believe in democratic government: Do not be cowed by the Mountain Express' call to "withhold" your signatures from the petition for a fair up-or-down vote on the form of your city government. Seek out a petition to sign and let the majority in our town set the rule. The "needless distraction" will be removed by November's vote.

Good governance, may it prevail.

Jim Plomasen


Editor's note: Editorials—by definition—are published as opinions and do not purport to be news.

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