Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Officials tainting Sun Valley’s image

    Do Sun Valley city officials realize that their infighting and dysfunction isn’t just local news anymore? The digital age has burst the valley’s protective bubble, and public figures in one of the West’s most prestigious zip codes are broadcasting their trifling soap opera to the world. The Boise Weekly is paying attention, and stories with headlines like “Sun Valley Councilman Wants Opponent to Undergo Mental Exam” are posted online, on Facebook and on Twitter. I lived in the Wood River Valley for about 10 years, and these stories make me embarrassed for my old hometown from more than 2,000 miles away.
    Since there is no sign that the bickering or lawsuits will end any time soon, I have an alternative idea: Unseat the Sun Valley City Council members and replace them with civic-minded high school seniors from Wood River Valley schools. An independent board can accept nominations from motivated students, and the city of Sun Valley will accomplish many elusive goals all at once:
1. Get the bad press about Sun Valley politics out of the papers and off of social media.
2. Save untold thousands in legal fees that are currently being frittered away on pointless lawsuits.
3. Promote civic duty in a younger generation. Local teens care about their home town and are presumably mature enough not to air their personal fights in public.
4. Achieve a public relations coup for a resort town that is always eager to attract new visitors and young energy. “Town Appoints Teens to City Council,” is a ready-made national news headline.
    The north valley has been subjected to (and has been subsidizing) these petty fights between public employees for far too long. It’s time to end the silliness and let a younger generation change the tone. Plus, a new skate park at the intersection of Dollar and Fairway Roads is sure to send local real estate prices soaring.
Michael Ames
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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