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For the week of July 4 through July 11, 2000

Housing boards to ask why director’s position remains vacant

Uncertainty about Ketchum and county support

Express Staff Writer

Following the resignation of Ketchum and Blaine County housing director Steve Amsbaugh two months ago, the north-valley city and county are still without a replacement.

An advertisement for applicants to fill the vacancy has not been placed.

That issue and the future of the entire affordable housing program will be topics of discussion at a meeting tomorrow night.

The Blaine County Housing Authority and the Ketchum Housing Commission will meet together at 5 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall.

According to a meeting agenda, the discussion is expected to include continued support from Ketchum and Blaine County for the program, hiring a new housing director and strategies to be taken based on the outcome of the aforementioned discussions.

Ketchum Housing Commission member Beth Callister said in an interview yesterday that she requested the joint meeting be held. A lack of action from Ketchum and the county on replacing former director Amsbaugh prompted her to do so, she said.

"There seems to be uncertainty about the commitment of the county and the city," Callister said. "The housing commission and housing authority need to be a little more involved. Maybe it’s time that they become the advocates of affordable housing and do some lobbying."

In a conversation yesterday, Ketchum Mayor Guy Coles said he is still very interested in pursuing affordable housing and continuing the housing program.

He said, however, that Ketchum City Council members and the Blaine County Board of Commissioners have not yet made a commitment one way or another.

Coles said he’s had preliminary discussions with Blaine County Commissioner Mary Ann Mix, who told him that the commission would consider the matter at its regular meeting July 10.

Coles said he would bring the issue up with the council members Monday night at the city council’s regular meeting.

"I’m sure we’ll have a commitment," he said.


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