Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Council delays vote on Provonsha

2 say process was too fast

Express Staff Writer

    Two Sun Valley City Council members said Thursday that Mayor Dewayne Briscoe’s call for a vote on his nominee to fill a vacant council seat was too hasty and the matter was postponed until the next meeting.
    Franz Suhadolnik vacated his seat effective Sept. 30 following the sale of his Sun Valley home. Briscoe solicited applicant names from the council via e-mail on Sept. 25. Council President Keith Saks came forward with Jake Provonsha, a Sun Valley Planning and Zoning commissioner and longtime resident. Briscoe said he did not receive names from the other council members, Michelle Griffith and Peter Hendricks.
    Council vacancies are to be filled by the mayor, according to Idaho law, with the consent of the council. Idaho Code 50-704 stipulates that “the process of soliciting and evaluating candidates for a council vacancy is at the mayor’s discretion.”  
    Hendricks and Griffin said they believe that Briscoe’s nomination came too soon and without due deliberation.
    “I am reluctant to confirm an appointment or a person to an elected position without the benefit of input from the electorate,” Hendricks said. “In light of the fact that the City Council has been operating in a respectful, collaborative, efficient and productive manner for almost a year leads me to believe that there is little urgency in confirming an appointment.”
    Griffith also felt that there wasn’t an immediate need to fill the vacancy.
    “I think that taking time and going through the process and agreeing on a criteria by which we think we should evaluate a candidate is important,” she said. “I appreciate that it is your mayoral prerogative to determine those things independently, but as you indicated, you require the consent of three other people, so it may be faster to find out what they’re looking for first.”
Saks disagreed, saying any last-minute absence of a council member would grind all city business to a halt.
    “Any blocking of this nomination or undo delay of this nomination will be something done for political purposes, not for the best interest of the city,” he said.
    Because it was clear Griffith and Hendricks wouldn’t approve the nomination, Briscoe tabled the discussion for a later council meeting.
“In my mind, [my nomination] wasn’t rushed,” Briscoe said at the Oct. 2 council meeting. “It was over a month-long process for me. They haven’t given me any other names in seven days, [but] that’s simply their prerogative.”
Provonsha moved to the Wood River Valley in the 1970s and served on the Ketchum Fire Department as an EMT/firefighter. He has been heavily involved in his local homeowners association and city government as a Planning and Zoning Commission member for Ketchum and Sun Valley.

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