Friday, January 3, 2014

Sun Valley Co. and City Council are set for new eras

Express Staff Writer

    For Sun Valley, 2013 was a year of changes for the Sun Valley Resort, while the City Council will be set for a new composition amid its multiple ongoing legal battles.
    On April 19, Sun Valley lost one of its most important decision-makers when resort owner Earl Holding passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah, his native state (See tribute on Page 11). As of now, the resort’s future appears stable. Spokesperson Jack Sibbach said the Holding family will continue to own the resort.

Restriction on climbing Baldy
    On Dec. 9, the resort announced that uphill foot traffic will be banned on Bald Mountain during the ski area’s operation from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
    “We have experienced a dramatic increase in the number of uphill enthusiasts on the mountain and have recognized the need to implement policies to ensure the safety of both our downhill and uphill users,” said Peter Stearns, director of mountain operations. “It just got to the point where it didn’t make any sense to have people going in the opposite direction of what the main operation of the ski mountain is.”

City Council election
    After Councilman Nils Ribi decided not to run for re-election, incumbent Bob Youngman and challengers Peter Hendricks and Keith Saks vied for two seats on the Sun Valley City Council. The challengers won.

Hammer and Donoval lawsuits
    The city remains involved in five lawsuits involving former City Administrator Sharon Hammer and/or her husband, attorney Jim Donoval.
    In November, Mayor Dewayne Briscoe and City Councilman Nils Ribi were dropped as defendants in a lawsuit filed by Hammer alleging violations of the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act. The city is now the only defendant in that suit.
    Donoval is representing Hammer in two lawsuits that do not directly involve the city. One is against former City Treasurer Michelle Frostenson and Sun Valley Assistant Fire Chief Mal Prior for defamation, emotional distress, civil fraud and tortious interference. The other is against Sun Valley City Attorney Adam King for malpractice.
    Ribi and his wife, Patricia Brolin-Ribi, unsuccessfully sued Donoval for defamation. Donoval’s countersuit for defamation against the Ribis is still pending.
Donoval is also representing Hammer in a lawsuit against Patti Ball, an independent investigator whom the city hired, for making an allegedly error-filled report that Hammer was allegedly never allowed to respond to.
Eric Avissar:

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