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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 24 - 30, 2002

News

Seattle developer chosen as new 
housing director


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

A Seattle developer and real estate finance consultant has been picked as Blaine County-Ketchum housing director.

Dick Duncan, 46, will replace Gates Kellett, who resigned in August. Duncan said he expects to move to the area in early to mid-January.

Duncanís job will be to help the county and local cities create affordable housing. He will be coming on board as the housing authority undergoes a restructuring to allow Ketchum to choose two of its five members. Previously, the county commissioners chose all members. The Ketchum Housing Commission has been retained as an advisory body to the Ketchum City Council.

Commissioner Mary Ann Mix said the new commission would be formed after Duncan is in place.

Duncan was picked in mid-December by a search committee comprising authority Chairman David Kipping, Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon, Commissioner Dennis Wright, Ketchum City Councilman Baird Gourlay and housing authority member Michael David. Kipping said Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant and Ketchum Housing Commission Chairwoman Connie McGowen also participated in the search process but did not attend the meeting at which Duncan was chosen.

Kipping said the committee received 40 applications, which were winnowed down to 12 reasonable prospects. He said three people were interviewed before Duncan was chosen.

"We liked him because heís very experienced in development of housing," he said. "He knows how to play the game and deal with the financial aspects."

A native of eastern Oregon, Duncan said he has spent the past 20 years developing commercial and large residential projects in the Seattle area. He said that after raising a son, 19, and daughter, 18, heís ready for a lifestyle change. He added that heís looking forward to a career change that will allow him to do something he sees as worthwhile.

"I think affordable housing is needed in every community, and itís certainly needed in this one," he said.

Kipping said that when the new housing authority convenes, probably in January or February, priorities will be working with Ketchum to identify possible sites for affordable housing projects and working with Sun Valley to explore affordable housing possibilities there.

Kipping said the housing authorityís administrative budget is a little over $90,000 for the current fiscal year. One-third of that has come from the county, one-third from Ketchum and one-third from housing income. Kipping said Duncanís salary is still under negotiation, though neither he nor Duncan said he foresaw any problems in a contractís being signed.

Duncan said he does not yet have a place to live here yet, but will probably rent at first.

"If anyone would like to offer me something at a great rate, Iíd like to talk to them," he said.

 

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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.