Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weigh in on Hailey leadership

I appreciate Tony Evans' investigative piece regarding the influence of matching funds promised by an anonymous donor in securing voter approval of Hailey's $3.5 million bond election for Gateway development.

Though entirely unaware of whether or not this commitment was legally binding, I trusted voices in the community attached to assurances that such commendable generosity would be forthcoming. My enthusiastic vote for approval of the bond issue was predicated on the ability of these additional funds to provide a state-of-the-art skating facility. The benefits to local businesses from the presence of such a facility would be immense, and city coffers would expand from associated LOT revenues.

Hailey has a history of getting all tangled up when elected officials attempt to negotiate deals and rush them through the process without adequate public scrutiny. Think Peregrine Ranch or more recently Cutter's. Given this history and the postponement of the donation, I became suspicious that perhaps investment interests applying for the annexation of Quigley Ranch might be involved. I received assurances that this is not the case.

Last week I sat for a while at the skatepark admiring the considerable skill and conscientious behavior exhibited by local youths. Perhaps this situation with the anonymous donor will untangle itself, and the vision of Hailey Ice will materialize.

Transparency is the application of consistent unsolicited honesty in the public process, a component of integrity, essential in building trust. Such principles are desirable in elected officials. Hailey has some solid candidates in this fall's election. Please vote.

William F. Hughes


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