Friday, November 8, 2013

Gourlay, Corrock get Ketchum seats

1 incumbent, 1 challenger emerge from crowded field

Express Staff Writer

Baird Gourlay (top) and Anne Corrock

Ketchum voters on Tuesday elected longtime resident Anne Corrock and incumbent councilor Baird Gourlay to the City Council. Corrock and Gourlay were chosen from a crowded field of seven candidates.
    Gourlay received the most votes with 499, while Corrock got 489. Amanda Breen was the only other candidate to receive more than 400 votes, as she finished in third place with 464. Aaron Pearson finished in fourth with 369 votes, followed by Brennan Rego with 276 votes. Deborah Burns earned 249 votes and Mickey Garcia garnered 94 votes.
    With his re-election, Gourlay will serve his fourth consecutive term on the City Council. Gourlay, a co-owner of PK’s Ski and Sports, said he remains dedicated to public service and will continue to work on improving the city’s government.
    “Every year, we always look at how we’re doing business and we’re always trying to find better and more efficient ways to serve,” Gourlay said. “We’ve talked about bringing in a finance manager. That would create a whole shift in the administrative work.”
    Corrock’s election to the City Council came after running unsuccessfully on two separate occasions. She has lived in Ketchum for more than 40 years, currently working as a hairdresser. She has worked as a ski instructor and is a former member of the U.S. Ski Team.
    Corrock did not return calls seeking comment on the election results before press time.
    Gourlay told the Mountain Express he is not surprised at the outcomes of the Ketchum elections for mayor and City Council. He praised Mayor-elect Nina Jonas for doing “a very good job of campaigning.”
    “I told Nina if she got elected, I’m there for her,” Gourlay said. “[Mayor] Randy [Hall] and I have worked together for years, but I’m not going to be a thorn in her back because it’s too important for Ketchum for us to work well.”
     Gourlay also said he is very happy with the results of the Sun Valley city election, as he sees an opportunity for a new era of cooperation between the two governments.
    “The two guys who are leaving office (council members Bob Youngman and Nils Ribi) have always been very tough to deal with,” Gourlay said. “I know everyone talks about mending bridges, but we tried mending bridges left and right. It was very difficult.”
    In his next term, Gourlay said he will work on merging the fire departments of Ketchum and Sun Valley.
    “The two fire departments should merge—there’s no question about that in my mind,” Gourlay said. “I will absolutely work to make that happen. They have a good fire department, but if we want to have a great fire department, then we should merge because it would be great for both cities. We now have the opportunity to do that.”
    During a City Council meeting Monday, Parks and Recreation Director Jen Smith told the council the federal government shutdown has forced a proposed whitewater park project to be delayed by three months. As a result, Gourlay said he is very worried about the state of the project.
    “I’m very nervous about the water park,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of money on it, and at some point we have to just pull the plug and say it’s not going to happen. The whole county is benefitting from it, and there’s no reason Ketchum should bear the whole cost with the attorneys’ fees, design, the Bureau of Land Management and the federal government shutting down. The shutdown increased expenses for us, so Nina will have to find other partners for us to keep this moving forward.”
    Gourlay and Corrock will be sworn into office at the Jan. 6, 2014, City Council meeting. They will serve with sitting Councilmen Michael David and Jim Slanetz.

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