The city of Ketchum’s back is against the wall on the future of its fire department, but the City Council is doing little about it.
If the city fails to secure renewal of a contract with the Ketchum Rural Fire Protection District, the city will be left with one puny fire truck and higher fire insurance ratings that will pound property owners’ pocketbooks with thousands of dollars in rate hikes. Lower ratings will also mean greater threats to life and property.
The district notified the city six weeks ago that it would end its critical contract with the city in 12 weeks. Yet, the Ketchum City Council has been yawning and apparently waiting for someone else to rescue the city from the flames of the council’s inaction.
The council’s passivity must end, or the city may have little choice but to approve a lopsided, union-busting contract with Sun Valley.
That wouldn’t break Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw’s heart.
He continues to push a merger of the city’s fire department with Sun Valley with a contract that his own council rejected 4-0. At the same time, he promises that the city is going to purchase new equipment and develop a new fire station. To date, it’s all talk.
Such promises require approval by the City Council to become reality. Yet, the council has done nothing. It’s had no meetings that moved the ball forward on those matters. It has exhibited no urgency.
The council should quickly step up and lead, and do what the mayor and his administration have not. Otherwise, the council will find itself outfoxed and left with no alternatives, betrayed firefighters and furious constituents.