Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No good reason to change government

A lot has been said since WREP sponsored a meeting Sept. 14 to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed change in Ketchum's government. After digesting all the arguments, I see no compelling reason to change our form of government.

The theoretical arguments put forward by the proponents about more efficient government, less politics, more transparency, etc., don't hold up in reality. In fact, the current council has a strong record of accomplishment in reducing both the size and cost of our city government.

Do we really think that a change in government is going to eliminate politics? Absolutely not. We are still going to have a community and council with different points of view where the majority rules.

Why would we give a city manager more power and have him/her a step removed from the voters? A majority of American small towns don't do that; they favor a strong mayor system. In Idaho, 98 percent of all the towns favor our system.

In the end, we have to look at the motivation of many of the people who are pushing this change. They have tried to recall the mayor in the past, they have been anti-growth and some are upset about the Town Square/URA/visitor center decision.

We all have some disagreement with City Council, but that doesn't mean we change the government and suffer the unintended consequences. For example, we know that hotel development offers the best chance for our economic revival. Hotel developers know that their project funding depends on stable, experienced local government. Who is going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a community that turns their competent government upside down in the worst economic climate in 80 years?

Our current system allows the voters to elect candidates every two years. We don't have to change our government to replace them.

The leadership and vision of the current council are irreplaceable.

Vote no on council-manager.

Doug Brown


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