Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gourlay to seek 4th term on council

Goals include improving relations with city of Sun Valley


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

Baird Gourlay

Ketchum City Councilman Baird Gourlay has decided to run for a fourth consecutive term in office.
Gourlay said he wasn’t sure of whether he wanted to run for re-election at first, until he visited his son who is in the Peace Corps and lives in Mongolia.
“I was thinking I had done my job as a councilman until I visited my son in Mongolia,” he said. “We went to a bunch of monasteries and learned that to reach nirvana, you have to do good things all of your life. So, my son turned to me and asked, ‘So, Dad, when are you going to start?’”
Gourlay said his primary goal if re-elected will be to improve the relationship between the Ketchum and Sun Valley city councils.
“I want to re-establish our relationship with the Sun Valley City Council and get them to share in the cost of promoting the marketing of this valley,” he said. “I don’t think it’s Ketchum-centric. I think it’s valleywide, and we should get the county to help us, too.”
In his campaign for a fourth term, Gourlay said his favorite film, “Pay It Forward,” is the inspiration behind his platform.
“I’m going to try and do something good for somebody, then I’m going to try to get them to do good for three other people,” he said.
Gourlay said his first “pay it forward” action will be to organize a free concert in the Town Square with Johnny Neel, one of his favorite musicians who used to collaborate with the Allman Brothers Band.
Gourlay also insisted that his work on the council is not done.
“I like the interaction you get on the council,” he said. “You’re constantly learning new things, you’re constantly meeting new people. There are a number of things I’m working on that I’d like to see come to fruition. We’re in the beginning stages of helping the Fly Sun Valley Alliance. We’re going to try to find more markets to get direct flights here. If we can make the [river] park work, that would be great, too.”
    Gourlay has lived in Ketchum since 1980. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1979, where he met his wife. He has three children and co-owns PK’s Ski and Sports in Ketchum. Before getting elected to the City Council, he served for three years on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
    Gourlay said that if elected, he will try to introduce an initiative to improve the city’s energy efficiency.
    “The citizens keep hiring me. If you have the experience and are willing to serve, I think you should,” he said.
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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