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For the week of October 4 through 10, 2000

Bellevue’s Marshal Gunter moves on

Plans to rejoin Hailey police


By PETER BOLTZ
Express Staff Writer

The man who doggedly built Bellevue’s reputation as the slow-down town will be leaving for "greater career opportunities."

Bellevue Marshal Jeff Gunter sent out a press release Monday morning saying he will leave office to further his career with Hailey’s police force.

Gunter’s last day as marshal will be Nov. 15, after which he will join the Hailey department as a lieutenant.

According to Hailey Police Chief John Stoneback, Gunter will be the only lieutenant on his 10-man force.

Asked if Gunter is being hired specifically to bring speeding in Hailey under control, the chief said he is not, but that he is aware of Gunter’s reputation for braking speeding in Bellevue.

Stoneback said Hailey has the new position budgeted for the end of October.

Gunter will also leave his position as Bellevue’s city administrator. In that position he oversaw the everyday operation of the city and its employees.

In a telephone conversation, Gunter said Bellevue is searching for a new marshal and that he would remain the acting marshal until Nov. 15.

Gunter, 40, has been the city’s marshal since April 1998, after eight years in the Hailey Police Department where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He and his wife live in Bellevue.

Before his time on the Hailey force, he served as a reserve officer in Bellevue from 1988 to 1990, finishing his training at the Boise Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) academy in 1990.

According to Gunter, the average speed through the city was 37 to 39 miles an hour in the early 1990s. When he conducted a traffic survey last June, the average speed was down to 31 to 32 miles an hour.

Some people have criticized Bellevue and its marshal for what they considered an overzealous enforcement of speed limits.

But an analysis of speeding tickets by the Mountain Express showed that the marshal and his deputies granted speeders a 9-miles-an-hour over-the-speed-limit margin before issuing a ticket.

In his press release he said it was "a pleasure to work for the citizens of the city of Bellevue."

"I feel the level of service the marshal’s office provided has continually improved over my two and a half years as marshal. I am proud of the job we did."

 

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