Friday, January 20, 2012

Ketchum forms events commission

Celebrating Ketchum's culture, heritage and spirit adds vitality to the town and provides an economic boost to the area, say city officials.

To help foster more events and to offer guidance, the Ketchum City Council unanimously approved the creation of an events commission at its meeting Tuesday.

The Parks and Recreation Department budget already has $30,000 for event support and $1,500 for event supplies, money that can serve as a funding mechanism for the commission, with oversight from that department and the City Council.

The commission is mirrored after the city's arts commission.

Loosely organized events committees have existed in the past, according to a staff report. But the city has not had an organized commission to support them.

The new commission will develop, organize, facilitate and communicate events, working with the events coordinator.

Commission members will work with the Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department to execute events.


Members have not been identified but will likely represent the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance, the Parks and Recreation Department, Sun Valley Co., and the city's Community and Economic Development Department. Within the next couple of months, Mayor Randy Hall will submit names to the council, which will vote on his recommendations.

Jen Smith, parks and recreation director, presented information on the commission to council members. She said the goal is to boost Ketchum activity, not promote individual interests.

"I want their agenda to be events in the city of Ketchum," she said.

Councilwoman Nina Jonas expressed concern that the commission would develop into another city department, beginning with "mission creep."

Smith said that wouldn't happen unless the council wanted it to.

"Ultimately, you have oversight," she said.

Councilman Larry Helzel said the city should proceed with the commission and allow it to develop and improve along the way.

"I think it's a great idea, and I think it's going to evolve over time," he said.

Rebecca Meany:

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