Friday, January 24, 2014

Ketchum mulls composition of URA

Size, terms of service examined by City Council


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum City Council on Tuesday continued to debate the future of the city’s Urban Renewal Agency, whose size and requirements for service were examined though no decisions were made.
City Administrator Gary Marks told the council there were two options for the size and makeup of the board. One was to have a five-member board with two elected officials and three at-large positions. The other was a seven-member board with three elected officials and four at-large positions.
Councilwoman Anne Corrock said she wants a more firm solution for the URA board’s composition.
“One of the things I think we need to do prior to this conversation is look at the problems we’re having and how we’re going to solve them, because I don’t want another Band-Aid,” she said. “This is the third time the URA bylaws have been written based on the makeup of the commissioners.”
According to those bylaws, the appointment of the chair is required during the first meeting of the year. However, Corrock said that has been a problem, as the organization’s bylaws are still under consideration.


Having more people is actually helpful, because then you have a larger group of expertise.”
Baird Gourlay
Councilman




Councilman Baird Gourlay said he supports a board of seven commissioners instead of five.
“Having more people is actually helpful, because then you have a larger group of expertise,” he said. “One of the things with five people is that we’d have fewer officials. I’d rather have the board stay at seven, because when you get four people from a variety of different fields along with three elected officials, I really like that option.”
The council also debated whether all URA commissioners should be required to be Ketchum registered voters. Mayor Nina Jonas said she wants three citizens required to live in Blaine County, while at least one is a registered Ketchum voter. Councilman Michael David agreed.
“If you just required one commissioner to be a citizen of Ketchum, then you’re freed up to get the whole district element,” he said.
Gourlay echoed David’s sentiments.
“You don’t want to restrict yourself, because you can definitely find someone outside the community that can help,” Gourlay said.
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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