It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Sun Valley for the past 19 years: 8 years on the Sun Valley City Council (two four-terms, two years as Council President); 6 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission (two years as Chairman); and 5 years as the Homeowner Representative to the Architectural Design Committee of the Sun Valley Elkhorn Association.
In fourteen years of public service on behalf of the citizens with the City I have approached each matter that has come before me with the sense that every citizen and taxpayer, regardless of issue or size, should be represented equally. I believe that both the applicant and neighboring property owners have private property rights that need to be protected in land use matters. I also base my decisions first on the principal role of government, which is to protect the health, safety and welfare, and the rights of all our citizens.
I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish during my time with the City. We have created stability within our government finances, reinforced policies and procedures to ensure the proper functioning of a streamlined government administration, made government more transparent and ethical, and have not raised taxes for the last three years. I was deeply involved with the preparation and passage of a visionary Comprehensive Plan which led to our open space ordinance, the writing and passage of our landmark hillside and dark sky protection ordinances to protect our beautiful hills and ridges, and the beautiful night sky we all enjoy to this day. I believe these accomplishments have significantly improved the quality of life in Sun Valley for our residents and visitors, and have enhanced the value of our community compared to other resort communities throughout the nation and the world.
Although we were able to halt several proposed developments in the City over the years which I felt were inappropriate, I was outvoted a few other times. I cringe when I see them today. Hopefully, the voters will ask probing questions of where future candidates stand on interpreting and following existing codes and the vision of the Comprehensive Plan, as pressures from developers mount to build on the open spaces and hillsides that are the signature of our community.
After winning re-election to the Council in 2009, Patti and I decided this would be my last term in office. Nineteen years of public service is more than my fair share. I have truly enjoyed representing the citizens of Sun Valley and having their tremendous support all these years. It has been gratifying and an honor serving them. Their continuing recognition that I always come to meetings fully prepared and represent them as the voice of reason without a personal agenda is something I deeply appreciate. In making every effort to be an effective 24/7 representative for my constituents, and to do so seriously, requires me to be away from my family, friends, businesses and volunteering with local non-profits more than I wish to be in the future.
I look forward to retiring from public service when the new Council is sworn-in in January 2014 and remaining an active member of our special community. I am hopeful the citizens will elect candidates to Council that share similar values for which I have stood these past years.