Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet the candidates in Ketchum, SV

Pizza and Politics forums set for Oct. 23, Oct. 24

Express Staff Writer

    Aaron Pearson, the information systems director at The Community Library in Ketchum, believes he can bring inspired youth to the Ketchum City Council.
    Pearson’s work on the city’s broadband strategic planning committee played a major role in inspiring him to run for office, he said in an interview.
“My service and involvement with the city has led me to believe everyone involved would be well-served by me serving on the council,” Pearson said. “I’m a civically-minded person, I believe in this city, and I believe its potential hasn’t been tapped yet. There are so many interesting, talented and educated people who more often than not end up leaving, which is what happens with a lot of young people.”
    Pearson said that he sees a huge generation gap in the city, and has seen many of his friends move out of the area. As a result, he wants to make Ketchum a more vibrant and connected community.
    Pearson has lived in Ketchum for five years. He grew up in Bellevue and graduated from Dartmouth College as a studio art major. He’s had his art put on display at several different exhibitions, including one at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
    Pearson said he wants to see the Ketchum economy become less dependent upon tourism dollars and become more focused on attracting small businesses.
    “I want to see Ketchum become a high-tech, location-neutral, small-business economy,” he said. “The means to achieving that is the development of our revenue structure. Most people who spend most of their money here don’t make it here. That’s not really sustainable.”
     He said he wants to help build Ketchum into a city with a strong startup business culture that fosters small entrepreneurs who “can market their products to the entire world.” Additionally, Pearson wants to challenge the status quo of how problems are solved in the city government.
    “We need creativity,” he said. “Creative solutions to difficult problems are something we need to try and bring up in this city. We’ve done a lot of the same over the past 10 years, and now I think it’s time for a fresh approach.”
    He said Ketchum could become a high-tech ski town with a vibrant economy in 10 years if the city markets itself accordingly.
    “I want to help our economy so that if we lose two weeks of revenue like we did in August with the fire, it’s no problem,” he said. “Tourism needs to be developed and supported. However, my goal is to find how we can build Ketchum into something that isn’t reliant on tourism. The way to make that happen is to build Ketchum into a strong, robust and vibrant community.”
Eric Avissar:

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