Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Forward, not backward

    I have been investing and building for a better Ketchum for 15 years. I moved my business and family life here full-time four years ago. I relish that so many community members have been energetically pursuing a more sustainable and balanced future for our town. Ketchum is on the cusp of experiencing the fruits of this hard work and devotion.
    Our town’s financial house is in order thanks to the vigorous leadership efforts of Mayor Randy Hall and Councilman Baird Gourlay. We now have much needed new hotel accommodations approved and ready to build under their watch. After a very tough recession, our nation’s capital markets are finally recognizing the opportunity to invest in Sun Valley. We are targeting construction to begin on Hotel Ketchum, located at the southeast corner of River and Main Street, as early as late fall 2014.
    In addition to funding becoming available for our entitled hotel projects, we are seeing success with new air service, including the nonstop regional jet service from Friedman to San Francisco, thanks to the long-term efforts of Fly Sun Valley Alliance and their partners, the Sun Valley Company and Friedman Memorial Airport Authority.
    Your yes vote on the LOT initiative on Nov. 5 will continue this forward momentum by generating tax revenues to fund to market current and future flights and contract for other airline destinations. All of our hard-working and dedicated locally owned entrepreneurial businesses will benefit from increased travel options for locals and visitors alike.
    I have known Randy through his years as both as a councilman and for the last eight years as our mayor. No one fights harder for Ketchum’s prosperity than this mayor. The mayor recognizes that innovative projects are at the heart of building a stronger town fabric that will result in increased and stable property values, providing steady and reliable revenue for generations to come. We will finally have the resources to improve and upgrade our city streets, pedestrian and bike ways, and underground more unsightly utility lines.
    Prior to Randy’s public service, I remember participating in many Ketchum public hearings that were fractious and dispiriting. This dysfunctional forum did not serve the best long-term interests of our community or add to its economic health.
    I urge you to vote for the high quality of leadership that Randy Hall and Baird Gourlay bring to our community. They have the experience. They are ready, able and willing.
Jack Bariteau

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