Friday, December 20, 2013

Ribi leaves with pride, few regrets

Councilman is proud of protecting open spaces

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley City Councilman Nils Ribi will leave his post early next month. He opted not to run for re-election last November. Express file photo

    After serving two terms on the Sun Valley City Council, Nils Ribi said he will leave office proud of the work he’s done.
    “I am very proud of the work I have been able to accomplish during my time with the city,” Ribi said. “We have created stability with our government finances, and reinforced policies and procedures to ensure the proper functioning of a streamlined government administration. We also made government more transparent and ethical and have not raised taxes for the past three years.”
    Following a six-year stint on the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, Ribi was elected to the Sun Valley City Council in 2006. He said he knew his second term in office would be his last, but he and his wife, Patti, chose to keep his intentions a secret so he would avoid being labeled a “lame duck.”
    “In 14 years of public service on behalf of the citizens with the city, I have approached each matter that has come before me with the sense that every citizen and taxpayer, regardless of issue or size, should be represented equally,” Ribi said.
    Having previously served on the Sun Valley Elkhorn Homeowners’ Association, Ribi said protecting property rights of Sun Valley residents was always one of his biggest priorities while serving on the council.
    While reflecting on his experience in public office, Ribi said it was a tough transition adjusting to the government’s slower process of getting work done in comparison to his experiences in the business world.
    “When I first began serving on the council, it was very frustrating to not get things done right away,” Ribi said. “As time went on, I learned that government can still get things done—there is just a much longer process involved that requires a great deal of patience.”
    He said he appreciates how involved Sun Valley citizens were regarding the city’s issues, and noted the resounding opposition the citizens had in regards to consolidating Sun Valley’s city government with Ketchum’s.
    Ribi said his biggest disappointment while in city government was getting outvoted on hillside developments that he believed contradicted the city’s comprehensive plan.
“Although we were able to halt several proposed developments in the city over the years which I felt were inappropriate, I was outvoted a few other times,” he said. “I cringe when I see them today. Hopefully, the voters will ask probing questions of where future candidates stand on interpreting and following existing codes, along with the comprehensive plan, as pressures from developers mount on to build on the open spaces and hillsides that are the signature of our community.”
    Ribi said he plans on spending more time with his family and volunteering for local nonprofit groups once he leaves office. He said that he is very confident incoming councilmen Peter Hendricks and Keith Saks will do a good job of leading Sun Valley into the future because he believes both are very intelligent men who have closely studied the issues facing the city.

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