Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency officials are defending their selection process for a new board member following criticism of the process by Anne Corrock, a former Planning and Zoning Commission member who has applied to fill a vacancy on the board.
The URA is looking for a person to fill a board seat vacated in December by the resignation of former URA Commissioner Nina Jonas, also a Ketchum City Council member, who said she resigned because she felt the seat should go to someone who is not a city official and who has real estate experience. She said the two entities should not be so “intertwined” and the URA’s purpose is to increase property values within the city.
In January, the URA published an ad in the Mountain Express seeking applicants. Eshman said Corrock was the only person to apply before the Feb. 8 deadline.
In its March 27 issue, the Idaho Mountain Express published a letter by Corrock in which she stated that she never received a response.
Corrock asked about the selection process at a URA meeting on March 18.
“You couldn’t write to me?” she asked the board. “It’s been a month and a half.”
In an interview, URA Commissioner and Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall said the URA owed Corrock an apology for not replying.
“I don’t blame her for being upset for not receiving a response,” he said “I get that. We’ll make sure it won’t happen again in the future. I’m sorry that happened.”
In her letter, Corrock stated that Eshman told her that no appropriate candidates had applied.
URA Chair Mark Eshman said in an interview that Corrock is “living in a reality distortion field,” and that the URA is simply in no rush to select a new commissioner. Hall said that “because we’re short a person, it’s not affecting the function or operation of the board in any way.”
Corrock stated in her letter that Eshman “invited me to withdraw my name. I declined.” A recording of the March meeting indicates that that was not the case. After Corrock asked if she should “just consider herself off the table,” Eshman asked, “Are you still interested in the position? I wouldn’t consider yourself off the table unless you want to be off the table. We haven’t made any decisions.”
In an interview, Corrock said she would “absolutely” still be interested, but that at this point she’s more concerned with the selection process than the seat.
At the meeting, Corrock said that if the URA really were awaiting more applications, it should inform the public that the application period is still open. The URA published an ad to that effect in the March 27 issue of the newspaper, stating a new deadline of April 30. Eshman said he’s received a few more responses.
“In May, we’ll submit some other names to the board. Anne’s will be one of them,” he said.
Asked whether Corrock was not wanted on the board, Eshman said, “That’s a decision the whole board is going to have to make.”
Corrock unsuccessfully spearheaded an effort in 2011 to change the city’s form of government. The initiative would have transferred the administrative power of the mayor, Hall, to a city manager.
Brennan Rego: email@example.com