Friday, May 18, 2012

Future councilmen look ahead

Results in tight Ketchum City Council race will stand


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

Michael David, top. Jim Slanetz.

An extremely close outcome in the Ketchum City Council race won't mean a recount.

In a special election Tuesday, May 15, candidates Jim Slanetz and Michael David took the top two positions, earning seats on the council. Charles Friedman, appointed to a seat by Mayor Randy Hall and the council in March, lost to David by one vote. Mickey Garcia and Julie Lynn also were in the running.

Under Idaho law, a candidate can ask for a recount, but Friedman said he does not intend to do so.

Slanetz expressed appreciation to everyone who voted and said he was glad for a positive campaign.

"I think all the candidates were in it for the right reasons and all would have provided sound leadership," he said. "It's refreshing to know that we can have an election with no negative campaigning."

His first goal, he said, is to work with the incumbents and learn the intricacies of the issues that Ketchum faces.

"I also want to reach out to the voters and business owners and make everyone feel their voice will be heard by the council," he said. "I think we need to be more creative in how we approach things. To me, crazy ideas are people thinking outside the box, so I encourage everyone to get involved and give their input."

David, too, said he is thankful for his supporters as well as for everyone who voted.

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"It's not always convenient to get to the polls on Election Day, but we saw in a contest between qualified candidates, every vote is important," he said.

"My priority is to get up to speed as quickly as possible, doing my homework and meeting with and learning from city staff," he added. "I also want to begin engaging citizens and stakeholders in the process, setting up office hours and utilizing social and traditional media."

Friedman said unless new information comes to light, he does not intend to ask for a recount.

"I guess this is where you learn that every vote counts and you can never have enough," he said. "I've enjoyed my time on the council and learned a lot about myself and about how the game of politics is played."

He said he would not rule out running for office in the future.

"But, for now, I think the new council needs a chance to create its own identity," he said. "I intend to remain engaged and involved in city issues wherever possible because I think it is critical for the interests of Ketchum's younger demographic to be represented."

Ketchum City Clerk Sandy Cady said council members will be sworn in June 4, after Blaine County election officials canvass the results next week.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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