Wednesday, February 8, 2012

D.C. trip takes Hailey leaders by surprise

Mayor cites councilorís fiduciary responsibility to city


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

A late-night trip taken by Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board members last week to present airport concerns to the Idaho congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., left some Hailey officials feeling out of the loop.

Heated discussions during a Hailey City Council meeting a week later brought up the responsibility of Hailey's Airport Authority representative, Councilwoman Martha Burke. During a Hailey City Council meeting Monday, Mayor Fritz Haemmerle raised objections to Airport Authority Chair Tom Bowman.

"Obviously, two of you [Blaine County representatives] knew, and only one of us [Hailey representatives] knew, and went," Haemmerle said.

The upcoming trip had been noted in an Airport Authority meeting packet in early December. The trip was scheduled to take place in late January or early February.

The 1:30 a.m. trip immediately followed a spirited discussion in Hailey Council chambers on Jan. 30 when about 100 people crowded into City Hall to let the City Council and mayor know what they would like to see happen to the airport. Participants were board members Burke, Bowman and County Commissioner Angenie McCleary as well as airport Manager Rick Baird.

The group left materials with the congressional representatives that emphasize the potential economic impact of losing commercial air service to the valley, citing Sustain Blaine statistics that 45 percent of Blaine County's GDP is tied to commercial air service. The materials had a list of guiding principles from the county's perspective, but none from the city of Hailey.

"If the Hailey City Council had come to a consensus [during the Jan. 30 meeting], it would have been added to the leave-behind materials," Burke said to Haemmerle at the council meeting Monday.

Haemmerle, Councilman Don Keirn (who also sits on the Airport Authority board) and Councilman Pat Cooley said they had not been informed about Burke's imminent departure to the nation's capitol, and expressed displeasure about it.

"If we had known all the time that you were going to Washington, D.C., in a few days, we could have focused [in City Council discussions] more narrowly and had more of an impact," Cooley said.

Keirn, Cooley and Haemmerle agreed that Burke's primary responsibility as a member of the Airport Authority board is to the city of Hailey.

Burke apologized for not communicating issues related to her position on the Airport Authority more clearly, and said she will in the future share more fully the context of the meetings.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.