Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New chair on Ketchum URA

Board moves toward private-sector makeup


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall has stepped down from his position as Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency board chair, nominating in his place URA Vice Chair Mark Eshman. The board unanimously approved the recommendation at a URA meeting Tuesday. Appointed as new vice chair was Commissioner Trish Wilson.

When the URA was formed six years ago, elected officials were empanelled as board members.

"It's always been in the plan to have several degrees of separation between elected officials and URA board members," Hall told the Idaho Mountain Express. "There won't be any elected officials as officers. We won't have our fingerprints on the agenda."

Hall cited continuity in decision-making during hotel approval processes as reason for keeping elected officials as board members.

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"My role as chair of KURA ensured that our entitlement process would be coordinated and well planned," he said in a prepared statement. "That work is now done."

He said the URA should draw from the private sector.

"A chair from the private sector with a strong fiscal background will reinforce the primary mission of the agency," he said.

In other business, the URA is discussing property maintenance responsibilities with tenants of its building on the corner of East Avenue and Sun Valley Road. A Starbucks franchise and the visitor center currently rent space in that building.

The new URA website, www.ketchumURA.org, is expected to launch soon.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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