Voters have spoken and new leaders will take office in Ketchum and Sun Valley in January. The issues facing the two cities mean that there won’t be much time for on-the-job training and languid learning curves. Newly elected officials must get their homework done and hit the ground running or the cities will suffer.
Ketchum’s new Mayor Nina Jonas, who left a seat on the City Council to run for mayor, should set out a clear agenda for the city early on in order to keep the city moving forward on infrastructure and economic initiatives. Otherwise, projects like the whitewater park, new workforce housing development and the city’s comprehensive plan could languish needlessly if the city gets bogged down.
Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey will also need to move briskly to get a new board set up and members appointed to manage priorities for the proceeds of the new 1 percent local option tax for air service. New efforts to keep and attract air service cannot come too soon for an area that not only needs affordable air service from more major cities, but extensive marketing to keep new and old routes healthy.
Sun Valley officials will need to come to grips with buying a fire truck authorized in this year’s budget and figure out a long-term method to repair and replace the city’s crumbling paths and streets. It isn’t too soon to discuss whether the city can or will loosen its grip on the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance’s air supply by re-establishing funding levels promised when the city partnered with Ketchum to form the alliance.
Make it or break it—it’s now up to the new faces in city government.