Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Questions & Answers

Ketchum City Council

1. What is Ketchum's biggest challenge? How do you plan to address it?

2. Should Ketchum place a high priority on tourism development and tourist marketing? Why or why not?

3. How would you prioritize projects in the comprehensive plan?

4. Do you support expanding or relocating the airport?

5. What is a key attribute or skill you'd bring to the job?

Chip Bailey

Age: 60

Occupation: Building designer and building code consultant.

Government/public service experience: Current Blaine County Planning & Zoning commissioner, two years as chair; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation technical delegate.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.

1. Ketchum's biggest challenge is trying to keep the town vibrant and growing without spending huge sums for consultants and failed programs. All age groups should be able to live here, and every citizen should be listened to by the government.

2. Absolutely. Tourism is our bedrock of economic sustainability, and all other economic stimulus is derived indirectly or directly from tourism.

3. I would recommend dividing the comprehensive plan into five sections, and reworking each section every five years. A more current document is a more valuable document, and this would save the extensive work of a major rewrite every 10 years.

4. Since the airport currently serves general aviation well, and commercial aviation adequately, I support minimal expansion in the airport's current location. The Boise and Twin Falls airports need to be better utilized.

5. I currently serve on the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission, in my 10th year. My knowledge of land use and planning and zoning issues, and my experience working with the public will make me a superior public servant for Ketchum.

Mickey Garcia

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired wildland firefighter, journeyman electrician.

Government/public service experience: Vietnam veteran.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from the University of Montana.

1. It's the economy, stupid. Identify and encourage diversified business investment.

2. Yes, but it's always dangerous to put all of your eggs in one basket. We need to encourage tourist business investment and diversify at the same time.

3. Keep increasing affordable housing; finish Fourth Street remodel; keep working with Idaho Power to get a backup power line into the north valley

4. My first choice is to develop a regional airport with the rest of the Magic Valley within a 60-minute drive of Ketchum. My second choice is to realign and lengthen the runway of the existing airport.

5. Pragmatism, genius and congeniality.

Baird Gourlay

Age: 54

Occupation: Energy consultant (E=mc2), owner/manager PK's Ski & Sports.

Government/public service experience: Current Ketchum City Council member; Ketchum Planning & Zoning commissioner.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, Middlebury College.

1. Economic Sustainability. Expand on our successes, like the Mountain Bike Nationals. Work with Sustain Blaine on the Olympic training site designation. Continue courting BSU and CSI for development of educational facilities and programs and partner with private sector.

2. My dad said, "Stick to things you're good at!" (tourism). We have been putting a huge focus on tourism, with the formation of SVMA (Marketing Alliance) and a solid, modern external marketing plan is being moved forward.

3. The new comprehensive plan will be a very public process and the wishes of the citizenry need to be expressed and memorialized. Following the plan's short-, mid- and long-term priorities is paramount.

4. Relocation seems impossible given current economics. Expansion is a challenge, but not having an airport in the valley is suicide. In the short term we need to optimize Friedman's operations and improve public transportation access to Twin and Boise.

5. Experience! Ten years on City Council, three years on P&Z, 32 years in Ketchum. I've established countless relationships with other leaders and organizations. Check out my website for more info and to get involved,

Randy Hall

Age: 52

Occupation: Paramedic.

Government/public service experience: Current Ketchum mayor; Ketchum City Council member; Ketchum Planning & Zoning commissioner.

Education: Some college; paramedic certificate.

1. Undoubtedly, the health of our economy. We've created a plan to secure our city's economic well-being. Now we must make sure the plan is realized: hotel development, business attraction and retention, marketing, infrastructure improvements and accessibility.

2. Research shows we have low awareness, so these efforts must be a top priority. By focusing on hotel development, airport solutions and marketing we can bring more people here for more days, which is critical to our economic well-being.

3. The comprehensive plan is a road map for how we want our community to evolve. By focusing on energy, transportation and natural resource security, in addition to land planning, I believe Ketchum can be a model for growth and development.

4. I believe we should implement new technology to increase reliability at our current airport while we explore other opportunities for the most cost-effective and expedient long-term solution.

5. Unquestionably, my experience gained through years of being involved in the governing of our city. We are at a critical juncture in our evolution and the ability to tap into that experience as we navigate these challenging times is critical.

Larry Helzel

Age: 63

Occupation: General partner of a private investment company; member, board of directors of Mission West Properties.

Government/public service experience: Current Ketchum City Council president; board vice president of Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in history from University of California, Berkeley.

1. Weak demand, shortage of investment capital. Solution is consistent, determined multi-year effort to effectively market the community (building tourism), and to be flexible with our land-use policies to insure that Ketchum remains friendly to new sources of investment capital.

2. Yes—highest priority. For every 100 new visitors, some percentage become repeat visitors, then some percentage of those become seasonal visitors, and another subset becomes investors in our community. The more visitors we attract, the more stakeholders we create.

3. The comprehensive plan revision should be visionary and strategic, embracing our community values and lifestyle with a focus on sustainability. It should not be project-specific, e.g. it might state "broaden recreational amenities" instead of "build new hockey rink."

4. Suggest a two-step process: Short term: Enhance Friedman to improve reliability of air service while improving ground transportation to Boise. Longer term: When population and demand grows sufficiently, pursue a replacement airport within maximum one-hour drive to resort.

5. Finance, managerial experience. Using these skills has helped streamline Ketchum's government and reformed our approach to budgeting and financial presentation, saving taxpayers millions. More efficiency can be attained, and we have plans to reduce unnecessary duplication in our contracts for services.

Nina Jonas

Age: 39

Occupation: Owner/operator of Rickshaw restaurant.

Government/public service experience: Current Ketchum City Council member.

Education: Attended the London School of Economics, graduated from Smith College.

1. Most local incomes don't match the cost of living, generating a shrinking youth demographic. Lower ski-lift prices for residents! Increase community-housing stock, especially by acquiring existing units. Improve broadband to allow location-neutral businesses to occur in the future.

2. Yes. We have amazing existing natural amenities and a strong art community all in one setting. These are the reasons many of us live here. We can easily let everyone outside of the valley in on our secret.

3. We are between plans in time and intention. In 2001, real estate development was the large influence. Now the conversation is the need for resort development. For 2012, I will prioritize a diversified business environment and protection of natural resources.

4. We need air service into the valley to remain competitive with like resorts. However, Friedman was never meant to be a regional airport. Until actual options and costs are available, I will focus on enhancing ground transportation to Boise.

5. I am a good listener; I interact with hundreds of individuals every week at my business. I have history in the community. I am analytical and optimistic. And I have energy and persistence.

Curtis Kemp

Age: 68

Occupation: Architect.

Government/public service experience: Current Ketchum City Council member; lieutenant, U.S. Naval Reserve, air intelligence officer, Naval Air Station, Imperial Beach, Calif.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, economics, Central Washington University; Bachelor of

Architecture degree.

1. Our biggest challenge is increasing tourist visits. We must remain aggressive in our funding of SVMA, and we must continue to nurture both hotel development and our fledgling working relationship with Sun Valley Co.

2. Yes! Increasing guest nights is absolutely of the highest priority! And I also place a high priority on speeding up Internet access.

3. The comprehensive plan outlines the general desires of the community. The comp plan proposes action plans, but does not specify projects. In general, I would support any action plan that helped achieve the results in No. 1 and No. 2 above.

4. I support relocating the airport ... slightly. Buy Flying Hat Ranch, move the whole thing south half a mile, bury Highway 75 for two miles and use the excavated material to create a three-mile safety/sound suppression berm along Woodside.

5. Listening carefully is a personal attribute that not only helps me to satisfy my client's programmatic requirements, but also serves me well in fully understanding all aspects of the issues brought before council.

Bob Kesting

Age: 62

Occupation: Broker, co-owner River Run Realty; former high school English teacher.

Government/public service experience: Not provided.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., and Master of Arts degree in English from Arizona State University in Tempe.

1. Our local soft economy. City government should see every applicant as a potential opportunity for enhancing our community, broadening our tax base, increasing our job growth, supporting our local businesses and growing Ketchum as a thriving Western resort town.

2. Yes! Tourism is and will always be our leading industry. Ketchum should be a place that embraces visitors and tourists. Our wonderful assets need to be well advertised, diligently promoted and graciously shared with all visitors.

3. Economic Development, Goal 2: "Foster a business climate that will allow local businesses to survive and prosper" is needed today. Our government and community should work together to support local businesses. Let's hang a banner: "City government supports Ketchum business."

4. I support the expansion of Friedman Airport and the addition of newer high-tech avionics that will substantially reduce the number of inbound flights diverted. I believe our airport is a critical ingredient in the overall economic success of Ketchum.

5. Preparedness. Twenty years of teaching high school taught me that there is no substitute for showing up prepared. It's imperative that all City Council members be prepared to hear all applications and issues put before them.

Neil Morrow

Age: 48

Occupation: Trial lawyer; former executive director of Ketchum CDC.

Government/public service experience:Volunteer small-claims mediator for Blaine County; member of the Advocates' board of directors; counselor for Camp Rainbow Gold.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Ohio University in political science; Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law.

Economic development manifest as sustainable jobs. Achieved through creativity and flexibility in local government; one hotel project in the ground now, bring an institute of higher education to Ketchum. Create construction jobs, permanent jobs and tax revenue Ketchum needs now.

We are a tourist town, there is a need for economic diversity to strengthen our sustainability in a changing global economy. We must invest smartly and heavily to boost ourselves back to the top of must-see destinations in America.

The comprehensive plan is a concrete way for citizens to get involved in Ketchum's future. Any prioritization of projects will come from real citizen input in the redrafting process that started on Oct. 26. Please attend these workshops.

Relocation is economically unattainable right now. We must be sensitive to concerns of all valley residents. Finding creative solutions, better ground service to Twin Falls and Boise. Commercial air service to Friedman is vital to the whole valley's economy.

Being an attorney specializing in contracts and a certified mediator as well as experience in commercial development and event production provide a well-rounded skill set to understand and fairly legislate issues facing the city of Ketchum. I love my city—that also helps.

Phyllis Shafran

Age: 74

Occupation: Accounting.

Government/public service experience: Not provided.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Berkeley.

1. Biggest challenge is restoring sound business environment in difficult economic times. Invite local businesses to meet with city government to discuss "what can government do to help" and focus on immediate action to assist, while still doing long-range planning.

2. Bike race, jazz festival are examples of bringing more tourists to town, and should be expanded with additional events. Tourist marketing is more than just advertising by a marketing board, and should include all segments of the community in planning and implementing.

3. The comprehensive plan is a goal, prioritizing projects is in the realm of capital improvements. A city government that works with the private sector, with fair standards, while maintaining the intrinsic values of the community should be the objective.

4. The airport is in an entirely new realm since the rejection of the preferred site. I favor maintaining reliable commercial air service to Blaine County and believe that it should continue until a new comprehensive solution is determined.

5. My education and life experience bring greater financial responsibility, which has been lacking with the current council. Example: the Urban Renewal Agency funding debacle which has tied up all anticipated revenue for the next 20 years, without leaving funds for other projects.

Jim Slanetz

Age: 47

Occupation: Owner of Board Bin sports and clothing store.

Government/public service experience: Spearheaded development and fundraising for Guy Coles skatepark; served on board of directors for Pioneer Montessori School; youth activities coach.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from University of New Hampshire.

1. Our biggest challenge is figuring out what our long-term plan is for our community. Things are hard right now, but smart growth and sustainability are far more important than finding quick fixes for our present economic problems.

2. Yes. We are a tourist town with a lot to offer. Getting that message out and bringing guests to town benefit everyone. We need more events like the Mountain Bike Nationals that give people a reason to come here.

3 The comprehensive plan should prioritize our needs as a community, such as housing, securing local food sources and figuring out renewable energy options. Enhancing our arts and recreational opportunities is also high on my list.

4. I favor expanding the existing airport. We should also increase ground transportation to Boise and find a way to fill those same rides with Boise locals. I would work with state and regional leaders to bring the train back to Shoshone.

5. I don't have all the answers but would listen to both sides of an issue. My only agenda is to listen to constituents, ask tough questions and try to make Ketchum a city my kids will want to stay in.

Candidate Bill Marshall did not provide information.

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