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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 October 22 - 28, 2003


Mayoral candidates discuss Hailey goals

Express Staff Writer

Susan McBryant

Incumbent mayoral candidate Susan McBryant has been busy canvassing the city she governs in the last weeks as she seeks to be elected for a two-year term. A vote in her favor would confirm public support for her sitting in a position she was appointed to when Mayor Al Lindley resigned last year.

McBryant has lived with her husband David in the Wood River Valley for 18 years and came here for the pace of life and the outdoor standard of living. She has closely watched the impacts of growth on the valley and has benefited by it in her business Sun Country Management.

She anticipates a change as the ability of the valley to grow lessens.

"There is an endpoint influenced by the economy and the availability of land," she said thinking about the future of growth in the valley.

But, she said she has learned much about the role of the city government to manage the great deal of growth that still can fit in the valley.

"We haven’t been strong negotiators," she acknowledged. But we are getting better.

McBryant said "I want to challenge developers to be more creative in their designs."

Before joining the city council McBryant served on the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission. One of her claims of success was getting the McDonald’s food chain sign reduced to a small square sign version of the typical big bright golden arches.

"At first they said absolutely not," McBryant said when they requested a smaller sign. But, the fast food giant came back with some alternative proposals at the next meeting after they began to see what the city was all about. "We fought the sign. We wanted it on a human scale."

The sign currently conforms to local ordinance and is about 8-feet high.

McBryant has spent most of her life in the West, at one point living in Southern California where she and her husband scraped enough together to buy their first house. McBryant was working two jobs, she said. The desire to have a better lifestyle played a big role in the decision to come to Idaho.

Although her family owned a condominium where she and her husband could have lived rent free, the couples found their own digs and have been self-sufficient ever since.

McBryant has traveled abroad on a couple of occasions and has an appreciation of what makes a community livable. Improving transportation is a goal of hers and she views the city’s comprehensive plan as a "green plan."

But, she says the city could do more. Asked if she thought the new plaza planned for the Bullion Square development is sufficient as a community meeting place, she said, "Would you sit there at 5 p.m.?"

"Everybody wants to hold onto what they have and their sense of Hailey," she said. "People of Hailey tell me when we grow, do what you can to make our growth unique."


Al Lindley

Former mayor Al Lindley has a long history working in the corporate structure of ATT. He worked with the communications giant for 27 years. He said the experience qualifies him to run large organizations like a city government.

Although he worked in such a huge company, he said in reference to managing growth and facing annexation that he does not promote growth, he says it’s happening and he wants to address it. He says his corporate background enables him to manage a city government in a more efficient way than he sees happening under the current administration.

"I am a rebel with a cause," he said at the traditional Pizza and Politics debate last week. Whether or not he agrees with the current administration in this second bid to become mayor, some wonder why he would think he could function as mayor with a city council that once showed it had lost confidence in him. One thing is certain, Lindley is a fighter and he is a volunteer.

Lindley participates in many community organizations including the Hailey Economic Development Committee, the Education Foundation Board, the Elks Foundation and he volunteers with the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Camp Rainbow Gold and he was appointed to the state Make-a-Wish Foundation Board. Lindley has lived in Hailey since 1989, but he has been coming to the valley to hunt and fish since 1971.

He speaks of building bridges and trying to recuperate communication and connection between different groups. He says he likes to keep busy, now that he is retired, and part of his energy just seems innate.

When Lindley’s sons were younger he was awarded the AT&T Vail Award for an act of heroism for saving a boy from drowning.

"The adrenaline takes over," he said.

Lindley had another momentous experience in his life, which could hint at his experience with dramatic situations. As a graduate student in international economics in Sweden in 1969, he was invited to represent the foreign student body from the University of Uppsalla as the foreign student representative.

"It was like the biggest masquerade ball I have ever been to," he said. There were people there from all different cultures.

During Lindley’s career with AT&T at one time he was a project manager for fiber optics.

"We laid 13,000 miles of fiber in three and a half years," he said.

Lindley still thrives on communication. His main goal if elected as mayor is to foster good discussions about what is best for the city of Hailey. He thinks of annexation as an opportunity. He says the city needs to leverage growth as a way to improve city services he feels require better long-term support.

Lindley’s other mission if elected as mayor is to see the cities of the valley and the county government find ways to work better together.



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