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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 24 - 30, 2003


Four in Ketchum
council race

Incumbent Charlat to run; Hall is undecided

How to enter the election

The filing period for Ketchum residents to declare themselves as candidates in the Nov. 4 Ketchum City Council election ends at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26.

To be eligible, residents must have lived in Ketchum for at least 30 days and must be a U.S. citizen.

To enter the race, prospective candidates must complete a declaration of candidacy and submit the document with a $40 fee to the Ketchum city clerk.

Those wishing to forego the $40 fee can alternatively file to the Blaine County clerk a declaration of candidacy and a petition with the signatures of at least five registered city voters.

For details, call 726-3841.

Express Staff Writer

Four Ketchum residents have declared their candidacy for two Ketchum City Council seats that will become open in early January.

Incumbent Councilman Maurice Charlat said Monday he intends to officially declare himself as a candidate this week, but incumbent Councilman Randy Hall has not stated whether he intends to run for re-election to the four-person council.

Building contractor Greg Strong and longtime Ketchum resident Mickey Garcia have both officially declared their candidacy for a council seat. In addition, Terry Tracy, the longtime Ketchum parks and recreation director who retired in August, on Monday announced she would also be entering the race.

The terms of both Charlat and Hall will expire on Jan. 4, 2003. The terms of Councilwoman Christina Potters and Councilman Baird Gourlay—which do not expire for another two years—will not be considered in the Nov. 4 council election.

Ketchum employs an open-seat election process that does not require candidates to run for a specific seat on the council. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the election will be sworn in on Jan. 5, 2003, to serve a four-year term on the legislative panel.

On Monday, Charlat—who is nearing the end of his first term on the council—said he would like to continue his efforts to be a "common sense" presence on the panel.

He said he would like to see city officials in the near future update portions of the Ketchum Comprehensive Plan. "I think there’s a need to make sure it’s a living document that suits Ketchum today, not as it was four years ago," he said.

Charlat said he would employ a "common-sense" approach to considering new, large development projects. He also noted that he approves of the current management staff at City Hall.

Garcia, an 18-year resident who recently retired from his job as a delivery person for The Times-News of Twin Falls, said he also would employ common sense and "pragmatism" in making decisions for the city.

Garcia said he has been educating himself in city and county issues for six years, in large part by attending and participating in public meetings. "I know the players and I know the issues," he said.

He said he believes the acting council has been "irresponsible" in its handling of the city budget, chiefly by "spending more than they take in." He noted that he would not vote to approve a budget that called for large amounts of deficit spending.

Strong, a Ketchum resident for much of the last 18 years, said he is running not to specifically "replace" one of the active council members, but instead to become more active in city government. He has been a member of the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission for the last two years.

"I like being part of the process," he said. "I like being involved in the city, and I think I have something to offer."

Strong said he believes the city needs to focus on addressing "bigger issues," particularly managing growth and traffic while seeking to maintain Ketchum’s overall quality of life.

Tracy, a longtime city employee until her retirement in August, said she would like to serve as a "voice" of Ketchum residents. "Every special interest group and organization has a voice, a spokesperson," she said. "Ketchum residents have, for the most part, not been heard."

Tracy said she believes four key issues face the residents of Ketchum: mismanagement of the city budget, a loss of affordable housing, the need for a master plan of city-owned properties, and the need to protect property rights and zoning districts designed for single-family houses.

Tracy emphasized that she believes the city should manage its budget without seeking to raise its taxes or fees.



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