Voters in Hailey gave two boomers the boot on Tuesday and handed the reins to two millennials elected to the City Council who are set on seeing the development of workforce housing.
The commanding vote that both received showed that voters are with them. They have a mandate and should use it.
The councilmen-elect, Sam Linnet, 30, and Juan Martinez, 28, distinguished themselves with clear positions favoring affordable housing for working residents.
Wrote Linnet, “The city must be more supportive and welcoming to development projects that include multi-family housing, while protecting Old Hailey and our city’s small-town characteristics.”
Wrote Martinez, “The city should zone areas to allow for small apartments, including rental units, to be built within existing city limits.”
The two confronted the major issue in the Wood River Valley, one that has bedeviled elected officials for more than three decades with no resolution.
Solutions have been hamstrung by a shortage of political spine and imagination.
Spines often bend when faced with dissatisfied residents who don’t want anything to change. They break when faced with lawsuits, real or imagined.
Linnet and Martinez have a chance to greatly improve the lives of young workers and families. They are singing from the same sheet. They now have the backing of voters of all ages.
They can accomplish what their boomer predecessors failed to do in all of the valley’s cities.
It’s their time, their city and everybody’s future. They should not bend, nor break nor be cowed by noisy grumbling.
When they take office in January, they should waste no time and get after it.