Two City Council seats are up for grabs in both Ketchum and Hailey. A four-way race for mayor of Ketchum is heating up.

This will be no ordinary local election. COVID-19 upended life in the Sun Valley area in unexpected and surprising ways. Longtime local residents and new residents alike are trying to figure out what lies beyond the pandemic.

As in every war, the fog of war permeates the war against COVID. No one will know the pandemic’s lasting effects until after the virus is vanquished and enough years pass to give historians a chance to put what happened in perspective.

At the same time, the effects of climate change are growing. How the area does or doesn’t, can or can’t, adapt to its challenges will determine whether one of the nation’s best recreation destinations thrives or sputters.

The November election is hugely important. The winners will need clear vision and a sure sense of direction to lead the way through the fog.

Candidates must know more than the issues—housing, growth, economic survival, climate impacts, the succession of a new generation and the most intangible, “the soul of the community.”

Candidates must bring more than slogans or strongly held opinions to the table.

They must understand how government works and how it can help or hurt people. They must understand what is legal and possible—and what is not. They must want to wield power on behalf of everyone, not just a few.

They must possess a just vision for a balanced future for our mountain towns and the skills to lead people to it.

Bluster and talk should walk. Real skill should prevail.

“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to

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