Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ask about candidates’ priorities

    The final two Pizza and Politics local, non-partisan political forums are scheduled for tonight in Ketchum at the nexStage Theatre and tomorrow in Sun Valley at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge. Both begin at 6:30 p.m. These are must-see events for local voters because there’s nothing like meeting and hearing candidates firsthand to decide which name to check on the ballot.
    Lots of small-town elections are a yawn because elected officials deal with relatively straightforward matters like balancing budgets, fixing roads and buildings, keeping the water running and streets plowed, and hearing from aggrieved citizens. They’ve never been a yawn in the cities of Blaine County because of the unique nature of the resort-based economy and what may be the unique nature of residents of mountain towns.
    This year, some political issues are especially acute in Ketchum and Sun Valley because they are the economic center of the area’s tourist economy. All of them are matters of money including stable, adequate and smart marketing, recreation infrastructure including paths and a proposed whitewater park, the local free-fare bus system, quality community workforce housing and expanded air service, as well as nuts-and-bolts matters like fire and police ops, water and sewer services.
    For example, Ketchum voters need to tune in to whether candidates support or oppose the 1 percent increase in the local-option resort sales tax in order to increase air service. The measure is on the ballot.
    A little pizza and a lot of local political debate are keys to a good future in our beautiful cities. Don’t miss ’em.

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