Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Letís clarify Ketchum election


I think there is some confusion among Ketchum voters about the coming election and how it will affect their government. Here's the scenario.

Voters will be asked to decide whether they want to continue the current mayor-council form of government or change to a city manager-council form. If people vote to continue the current form, then the existing mayor and council will continue in their jobs. There will be a follow-up election in May to fill the two incumbents' seats whose terms will be up—Larry Helzel and Curtis Kemp.

If people vote for the city manager-council form, they will be asked then to indicate which five of the 12 candidates on the ballot they want as City Council members. Even under a new form of government, voters could return all current elected officials to the new council, i.e. keep the same five people in office. Or they could elect five new people, or some mix of both.

Voting for a new kind of government should not be seen as a "kick-the-bums-out" ploy, despite what many have claimed. The committee that presented the ballot issue should not be confused with the substance of the issue.

I'm not a Ketchum resident, so I can't vote, but for transparency's sake, I favor the new form of government for greater stability, transparency and public access.

Jima Rice

Blaine County




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