At the Jan. 19 Ketchum City Council meeting, the mayor attempted to prevent me from making a public comment on the Bariteau project (Agenda Item 11). I think he did this because I used the word “Bluebird” once, in the beginning of my comment.
Why? Even if, in his opinion, I was talking about something irrelevant to Agenda Item 11, is it his prerogative to censor me? I was allocated the standard three minutes. I took less than one minute.
Why is the Mayor against public comment on Bluebird? Why did he strip the word “Bluebird” from Agenda Item 7, which renewed the contract with KCDC to build Bluebird? Why would the Council renew that contract with no debate or public comment?
Why did the mere mention of Bluebird cause him to attempt to silence a member of the community who opposes it?
Bluebird is the wrong project, the wrong location, and the wrong economics for Ketchum. It will loom 33% higher than buildings in the retail core. Leases will be as short as six months, with no requirement for tenants to work in Ketchum. The out-of-state developer will make millions of dollars—money that will leave our community forever. The city is gifting the developer taxpayer asset, for $1 a year. The building has insufficient parking, and will likely add over 30 cars to on-street parking. The units are tiny—some bedrooms have no windows. And, at the end of 15 years, the developer intends to sell it at a massive profit.
The city planner called this a “private project on public land.”
Why does the Mayor think this is good for Ketchum?