Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Questions & Answers

Sun Valley City Council

1. Do you support taking the 3 percent property tax increase allowed under state law? Why or why not?

2. What things would you do to help maintain Sun Valley's economic viability over the next few years?

3. Do you support an early rewrite of the 2005 comprehensive plan? Why or why not?

4. Do you support expanding or relocating the airport?

5. What qualities do other people tell you that you have, and how would that benefit Sun Valley?

Michelle Griffith

Age: 49

Occupation: Executive director ARCH Community Housing Trust; former derivatives trader for BP International.

Government/public service experience: Board member, nexStage Theatre; Wood River High School PTO.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

1. My instinct is to spend more efficiently before raising taxes. In a stagnant or declining economy, it may be necessary to minimally raise taxes in order to continue to provide the standard of service that helps to define Sun Valley.

2. Sun Valley's economic viability is directly linked to the economic viability of the Wood River Valley. I support initiatives that bring increased visitors and businesses to our area, including the Marketing Alliance, new or renovated hotels and enhanced airport service.

3. The city has been presented with three applications to significantly amend the comprehensive plan in as many months. These applications must be considered in relation to overall land use, and therefore I support an early review of the comp plan.

4. Relocating the airport is not economically viable or affordable. Commercial air service is vital to the economic future of the entire valley. I support expanding airport capability to accept regional jets and to provide for more reliable service.

5. I have broad business experience and recognize that others do as well. I am a consensus builder, which adds value to the ultimate solution. I have real-world business experience, big-picture vision and the drive to get things done.

Joan Lamb (incumbent, write-in)

Age: 59

Occupation: Sun Valley City Councilwoman; former commercial and investment banker, retiring as a managing director at Merrill Lynch.

Government/public service experience: Sun Valley City Councilwoman; Sun Valley Planning & Zoning Commission member and chair; served on boards of various youth organizations.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Stanford University and an MBA in finance and marketing from UCLA.

1. I support 3 percent annually (equals $.03 per $1,000 assessed value totaling $78,920 in 2012). Non-discretionary medical and workman's comp expenses for essential services increase at substantially higher rates, resulting in having to "catch up" as the county must with its 6 percent increase.

2. Support funding the SVMA, Mountain Rides, Sustain Blaine and Fly Sun Valley with LOT taxes collected by Sun Valley Co. Advocate for improvements at Friedman airport.

3. Sun Valley Co. wishes to change its vision plan, and we should work to incorporate its plans in a thoughtful way into land-use designations acceptable to the community and that preserve open space, hillsides and attractiveness to visitors and residents.

4. To sustain the resort economy and therefore employment in the entire county, the airport needs to be upgraded in its current location and quickly to stem the disinvestment in the north valley due to the uncertainty surrounding ongoing air service.

5. People characterize me as calm, rational, analytical, able to forge compromise and consensus and maintain a sense of humor through difficult budget negotiations and land development issues.

Stephen Poindexter

Age: 33

Occupation: Graveyard front desk clerk, Sun Valley Resort.

Government/public service experience: Not provided.

Education: Graduate, Andrew Jackson High School, Jacksonville, Fla.

1. Yes, although it's never a good time in this bad economy to raise taxes. It's something that benefits the whole city. I suggest doing it in 1 percent increments for the next three years.

2. Jobs, jobs, jobs! We need as a city to realize that welcoming new businesses into the city will create jobs and help Sun Valley's economic viability. This can't be a one-business town and still be here in 30 years.

3. As a member of the Sun Valley Resort staff, I see first-hand all the wonderful improvements that the Holdings have put in over the years. We as a community should remember change done right is never bad.

4. What I support is having two people on the committee from Sun Valley, one from the city, and one from Sun Valley Co. Sun Valley has the most to lose. We can't rely on others to make those choices for us.

5. The ability to listen to people, understand individual situations and come up with out-of-the-box solutions that work and that are beneficial to all. Fifteen years in hospitality has taught me this, and this is, after all, a resort community.

Franz Suhadolnik

Age: Not provided.

Occupation: Stockbroker and financial advisor; had a dental practice for 30 years.

Government/public service: six years U.S. military; school board member and chair; Little League coach.

Education: Graduate of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis.; doctor of dental surgery, Series 7 real estate and insurance license.

I do not support a 3 percent property tax increase. Property values are decreasing while property taxes continue to increase. Sun Valley without the 3 percent increase has a blanaced fiscal 2012 award-winning budget, which includes $700,000 for contractual services.

To maintain the economic vitality of Sun Valley, the city should work with the Sun Valley Co. and accommodate it in any way feasible with due consideration given to the positions of Sun Valley residents.

Any plan can be revisited but, once again, only under the constraints demanded by Sun Valley residents. The opinions of local residents should always be a consideration.

I am for locating the airport in the most feasible, utilizable and safest place possible with due consideration to the property owners in proximity. I am not an expert on airports. Presently we appear to have sufficient experts.

A quality I possessed as a school board member was when the vote went against me, I moved on without recrimination or fault-finding. I would bring this decorum to the council and hope all would follow.

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