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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of March 27 - April 2, 2002


Candidates on a cruise?

If everyone is happy with the way things are going in Blaine County, the April 5 deadline for candidates to file to run in the upcoming primary elections for local offices will pass unnoticed.

County offices are partisan seats. To date, no one but incumbents have filed to run. If that doesn’t change soon, the local election season will be a big fat yawn.

That would be a shame for everyone but the candidates who will run unopposed. Without a field of candidates, there will be no debate about where Blaine County is today and where Blaine County should go in the future.

It’s time for residents with a penchant for public service to consider running for a county office.

Candidates without challengers are candidates on a cruise. They are comfortable. Instead of stumping for votes, they can work on their tans. They can avoid hard questions. They won’t have to argue viewpoints because no one will challenge theirs.

Voters will be left to digest the tasteless pablum of bland, listless campaigns.

A few of the matters that won’t get any public debate unless new candidates run:

Will Blaine County continue to protect south-county farms and ranches or let the bulldozers in?

Will the county remain in the Management Dark Ages, without a county administrator with commissioners who insist on do-it-yourself management?

Will the county continue to operate with a substandard and deteriorating jail?

Will the county protect the purity of local wells and the aquifer that feeds Silver Creek from the impacts of development?

Will it continue to push wide roadways built to federal standards in canyons where residents don’t want them—just to get federal funding?

Will it continue to put enforcement of its own zoning ordinances on the back burner or hire an enforcement official?

Will the county allow working people to be priced out of the valley or will it support the Blaine County Housing Authority’s efforts to build affordable housing?

Will the county play a strong role in getting valley mass transit off the ground?

Will the county ensure that a new highway won’t destroy the valley’s quality of life or will it let highway engineers make all the decisions?

Will the county continue to subsidize nursing home care at Blaine Manor, or tell the old folks and their families to find a new home?

Only if many are willing to help chart the course, will the county ship of state avoid the rocks that lurk in the future. Candidates, where are you?


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.