The voters of Sun Valley voted for change on Tuesday, electing challengers Peter Hendricks and Keith Saks to the City Council over incumbent Bob Youngman.
Hendricks (291 votes) and Saks (236 votes) will replace Youngman (186 votes) and Councilman Nils Ribi, who opted to not run for re-election. Both Hendricks and Saks voiced satisfaction with being elected to the four-person legislative panel.
“I’m excited and really looking forward to getting involved in the community in greater depth,” Hendricks said.
Saks expressed similar sentiments.
“I feel more motivated to serve than I did before the election,” he said. “I know I can make a difference, and I think with my background I can be a force for consensus building, harmony and understanding.”
Hendricks is a retired financial broker, while Saks is a retired attorney and certified professional mediator. Both have previous experience working with the Sun Valley government. Hendricks serves on the city’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and Saks has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Both Saks and Hendricks said they will work to make the council more cooperative through establishing a sense of mutual respect, even when there are disagreements.
“My top priority remains re-establishing the respectful, open, collaborative conversation that was the basis of my platform,” Hendricks said. “In order to accomplish that, I will basically reach out to anyone that will listen to me. Everything else will flow from there.”
Saks said he wants to establish a working relationship among City Council members akin to the relationship between members of the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission.
“The first thing I need to do is help build a council that works,” Saks said. “I want to try and make an atmosphere of respect for opposing positions like there was when I served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. I want to get the council on the same page to put aside their individual agendas or biases to serve the citizens as best we can.”
Hendricks and Saks both said they are happy the proposed local-option-tax initiatives to support air service passed in Ketchum and Hailey. Both plan on strengthening the city’s relationship and commitment to the Fly Sun Valley Alliance, which works toward that cause.
Hendricks said he will spend his tenure in office focusing on the “Three C’s” of consideration, conversation and collaboration as his basis of working with other officials.
Both council members will be sworn into office at the first council meeting in January, the date of which has yet to be determined. They will serve with sitting council members Michelle Griffith and Franz Suhadolnik.