Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ketchum needs council/manager

I was the mayor of Sun Valley from 1981 to 1994 and worked under the strong mayor/council form of government. During those 13 years, we built the bike paths in Sun Valley, voted overwhelmingly in support of the bike paths throughout Blaine County, spent two sessions at the Legislature to get the approval of the local-option tax and agreed to snowmaking on Dollar Mountain, among other actions. We were active on the Airport Authority and formed the Multi-Government Council of Blaine County. We consolidated the Moritz Community Hospital and the Hailey County Hospital, eventually building St. Luke's Wood River Community Hospital.

Contrary to my preference for a strong mayor government, I believe Ketchum is being misled. I moved to Ketchum in 1995 and have been displeased with the government most of the time. There is too much going on—and very confusing: the U.R.A. (a good "cause" but I do not think the mayor and four council members should be on the board, controlling the city budget and the URA budget), the CDC and many dollars in a housing fund, the Town Square, hotels that don't happen but developers still being given extensions and "exceptions to municipal ordinances," the mayor's salary of $36,720 and some question as to whether he actually lives in Ketchum, and an incredible $120,289 salary for Lisa Horowitz, whatever she's responsible for.

I am for a change to the city manager form of government. Don't be threatened by the current government's assertions that the change is going to "cost exorbitantly" and "negate all the promises that have previously been given hotel developers." Let's run Ketchum like the corporation it should be run as!

Ruth Lieder


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