Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6 candidates in race for council seats

Ketchum special election to be held May 15

Express Staff Writer

Six people will vie for two Ketchum City Council seats in a special election on May 15.

Candidates filing necessary paperwork by the deadline Friday were: Michael David, Charles Friedman, Mickey Garcia, incumbent Curtis Kemp, Julie Lynn and Jim Slanetz.

The election is being held because an initiative to change the city's form of government to the council-manager system failed in the November election. According to state law, since voters rejected that initiative, the concurrent vote on candidates was void, and a new election must be called. Kemp is running for re-election. A seat now held by Friedman as an interim appointee was vacated earlier this year by Councilman Larry Helzel. Now, Friedman is running to retain that seat.

Michael David

David and a business partner recently opened Sawtooth Produce Co. Previously, David worked in producer relations and sales for Idaho's Bounty. He served as executive director for the Blaine County Housing Authority for nearly five years.

He said he's running "to represent the citizens, the working guys and gals, of Ketchum."

In addition, he said, as a father of three children, he wants to make the community as strong as possible.

Charles Friedman

Friedman, a commercial relationship manager at Zions Bank, was appointed earlier this month to fill the seat of Larry Helzel, who stepped down last month.

"I've chosen to make this my home and pursue a career here, and I want others to have the same opportunity," he said. "In the past, I think that some voters have felt under-represented on the council and I'm hopeful that I can incorporate the best interests of the community to have a positive impact on Ketchum's future."

Mickey Garcia

Garcia is a frequent attendee at city and county meetings and has run for public office many times. He was a vocal supporter of the council-manager form of government initiative in Ketchum last year.

He has worked as a journeyman electrician and a wildland firefighter and ran a Forest Service work camp for underemployed youth.

"I'm running because it's my duty and I've got the public policy chops to deal with it," he said.


Curtis Kemp

Kemp is an architect and has been on the Ketchum City Council since 2007. He previously served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.

Kemp said he's running to see through to completion his original goal when he ran for office in 2007: to facilitate the development of a five-star hotel to bolster tourism.

"Although several projects have been entitled, we are still without a five-star hotel," he said.

Julie Lynn

Lynn is a mother of a 12-year-old and is a Girl Scout leader.

She said she was inspired to run after reading about the election in the Idaho Mountain Express.

"It was one of those Ys-in-the-road moments," she said. "I've learned how important it is to give back."

Lynn said the council has done a good job of improving Ketchum, which in turn benefits the business community.

"I love this community and its vitality," she said. "I want to encourage its growth like I do with my own child."

Jim Slanetz

Slanetz is the proprietor of the Board Bin sports store in Ketchum.

He led development and fundraising efforts for the Guy Coles Skatepark in Ketchum and has coached youth soccer, snowboarding, skiing and hockey.

"I want to make Ketchum as vibrant and sustainable as possible," he said. "If we focus on those aspects and work together as a community, the rest will fall into place. I want to create a place that my kids will want to stay."

Rebecca Meany:

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