The Gager Boys: Cade (3 years old) and Grey (2 years old) with friends Dani and Blue

City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life"

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
April 14, 2017
In This Issue
Nina While cities have responsibilities that must be tended to every year, true leadership requires focusing on a community's success and prosperity with a long-term view.
On April 10, the City Council and I convened for a budget retreat. This annual meeting involves a discussion not necessarily of numbers but, rather, of values. What is most important to our community? How can we support programs, systems, and initiatives that reflect the priorities voiced by community members? Where and how can we improve efficiencies? What are the things we most need, want, and are able to support in order to achieve our shared short- and long-term goals?
Since I first took office three years ago, I have used the 2014 Comprehensive Plan as a guiding document to honor the community's values and long-term vision. Crafted with the input of over 750 Ketchum residents, the Plan allows Council and I to better meet the needs and priorities voiced by the community when making major budgetary decisions. I feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure that the values reflected in it are also reflected in my financial decisions moving forward.
My goals in next year's budget are to maintain effective City services, pay City staff fair and competitive salaries to ensure Ketchum can retain qualified personnel, build more infrastructure such as sidewalks and lighting, protect our natural resources, increase opportunities for affordable housing and year-round jobs, and establish a ten-year strategy with the KURA to utilize joint assets to invest in affordable housing, parking, and essential services facilities.
In this newsletter, you'll find more information about Ketchum's budget process, the importance of zero-based budgeting, and a profile of Grant Gager, our Director of Finance and Internal Services. There are many components of Ketchum's budget process--ranging from the people doing the work behind the scenes to the values informing our decisions--and I encourage everyone to learn more and get involved. Your voice is critical in informing and supporting the values that drive our financial decisions.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Q. The Warm Springs development agreement states that the payment to mitigate the impacts to recreation won't come until a certificate of occupancy is issued. Could you clarify when we might get the tennis courts that we were promised over ten years ago?

A. As stated in the development agreement, the developer is obligated to pay the City $300,000 to mitigate recreation impacts. The funding is not dedicated to tennis court replacement. However, it could be used for this purpose if the City Council agrees. The first payment of $150,000 is due at certificate of occupancy for the hotel, and the second payment of $150,000 is due one year later.  

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas? AskNina@ketchumidaho.org

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Stay involved in your community. Included here are links to the Monday, April 17, Council agenda and Council meeting information. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. At this meeting, the Argyros Performing Arts Center text amendment to remove parking requirements will be presented to Council for consideration, along with a discussion on its in-lieu community housing exceedance agreement. Council will discuss the approval of an emergency ordinance requiring a temporary user permit to pump water into the right of way. An agreement with Lunceford Excavation for the sidewalk infill project will also be presented to Council for approval. Visit Sun Valley will make a presentation on its operations budget and summer campaign.

It is the responsibility of the City to inform the public and gain public input. We encourage you to provide the City with your opinion and comments by attending Monday's meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave. N., or by sending an email to participate@ketchumidaho.org

While Mayor Jonas will not submit the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget to City Council until late summer, Ketchum's budget planning and review process has already begun.
The official budget process kicked off on February 7th. At that time, the City asked all department directors to create lists of their programs, whom they serve, and how many people they serve. No one talks actual dollars at this point in the process; the focus is primarily on function, not expense.
After department directors have documented the structure and function of their departments, they are then tasked with determining the costs associated with their programs and services. The City provided each department with three years of historical spending information so that each director could look at trends for how much was spent, where it was spent, and when it was spent. The process is consistent across every department: Administrative Services, Parks & Recreation, and Streets, for example, all go through the exact same process even though their functions are distinctly different.
Budget This method of budget analysis and development is often referred to as "zero-based budgeting." Every department essentially begins with a budget of zero dollars and then builds up from there, depending on where and how programs and services need to be funded. The primary goals of zero-based budgeting are to ensure transparency and efficiency, both of which are particularly important when dealing with the use of public funds.
This budgeting approach taps into the expertise of those closest to the programs. City staff who are running and managing programs day to day understand the challenges and successes better than nearly anyone else. Consequently, incorporating their insight becomes a key component of creating budgets and establishing priorities.
There is an argument to be made that a budget, more than just numbers and line items, is an expression of our values. Where, when, how much, and why money is invested directly reflects the values and priorities of a community and its leadership. The City can efficiently and cost-effectively look not only at historical spending but also at how things should operate now and in the future.
On April 10, the Mayor and City Council formally kicked off the City's budget review process during a retreat at the Knob Hill Inn. Priorities and values, as they relate to the budget, were discussed. Mayor Jonas wanted to gauge what the Council may wish to change or do differently this year as well as what programs and initiatives should remain the same or warrant additional investment.
By the end of the month, all departments will submit their budgets to Mayor Jonas and Suzanne Frick, the City Administrator. In partnership with Grant Gager, the Director of Finance and Internal Services, they will then look at the program submissions from each department, the Council's priorities, and other information to put together a budget package.
In early summer, the proposed budget will be submitted to City Council. The deliberative process between the Mayor and Councilmembers then begins, with a budget ideally being passed by late summer. (The fiscal year begins October 1.)
Those interested in voicing their opinions about Ketchum's budget are encouraged to get involved. State law requires that the City have three hearings on the budget. It is worth noting, too, that every City Council meeting is open to the public, and they nearly always have an agenda item that is of a financial nature. Showing up and participating in Ketchum City Council meetings throughout the year is important--whether the budget is formally being reviewed or not--and the City always looks forward to hearing from residents.

Grant enjoys a spring day with wife, Chloe, and sons, Grey and Cade. 
Working diligently behind the scenes to ensure Ketchum's budget is on track--and that the City engages in financial best practices all year long--is Grant Gager, Ketchum's Director of Finance and Internal Services.
While Gager is somewhat new to the position (he started in November 2016), he is not new to the Ketchum area.
Originally from Connecticut, Gager moved to Ketchum after college in 2003. He lived with his brother "to ski bum for a winter with him" that year.
Working at a ski boot shop downtown, however, Gager met the woman who would ultimately become his wife. He got a job with Smith Optics and stayed until 2006, when he decided to pursue a long-time interest in government work. They moved to New York City and Gager later began working in nearby Connecticut for the state legislature.
Gager's position involved working in the nonpartisan legislative budget office with legislators and the governor as they developed the state budget. Recently, however, the family was looking for a bit of a change and hoped to return to the Wood River Valley. When the Director of Finance and Internal Services position opened, Gager eagerly applied.
While budgets and finances aren't everyone's cup of tea, Gager seems to have found a great fit. "I really enjoy the job and the people I work with," he says. "My predecessor assembled a good team, and we really have a fun time doing what some may consider as the more mundane work of city government."
Although Gager in his previous role helped to develop nearly $3 billion of Connecticut's $20 billion budget, everything was at a relatively high level. In contrast, his work with Ketchum's $23 million budget "has been a really nice change of pace." He enjoys his new position, as it allows him "to get down into the details. It's been great."

Food/Drink Vending Opportunities This Summer
The City is providing opportunities to food and drink vendors for summer events. This year, Washington Avenue between First and River Streets will be open only to vendors and pedestrians each Tuesday, from June 13 to August 8, during Ketch'em Alive. On Monday, Aug. 21, vendors are needed at the Ketchum and Sun Valley eclipse event at Festival Meadow. On Saturday, Sept. 2, the City will be hosting a musical artist after the Wagon Days parade. Vendors are needed on East Avenue between Fourth Street and Sun Valley Road during the parade and concert. Please email participate@ketchumidaho.org or call 727-5077 for more information and to reserve a space.

Visit Sun Valley Holds Community Meeting 
Ralf Garrison, Director and Principal of DestiMetrics, Kelli Lusk of Sun Valley Company, Carol Waller of Fly Sun Valley Alliance, and Executive Director Scott Fortner of Visit Sun Valley will make presentations at Visit Sun Valley's Community Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Limelight Hotel's Silver Creek Room at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 20. 
Runway Maintenance Closes Airport in June
Plan your travels around the Friedman Memorial Airport closure dates. Runway maintenance will take place beginning at 8:00 a.m. on June 5 through 7:00 p.m. on June 7, weather permitting. Watch for updates at iflysun.com.

Summer Youth Recreation Program, June 12 - August 17 
Registration begins April 24 for the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Summer Youth Recreation Program. The program offers tennis, gardening, art, golf, swimming, skateboarding, mountain biking, yoga, geocaching, and more. All-day Friday adventures are also available. If you have questions, contact John Kearney at jkearney@ketchumidaho.org or 726-7820. Register online at ketchumidaho.org/registration.  
The Great American Eclipse
Ketchum partners with the City of Sun Valley to celebrate The Great American Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, at Festival Meadow. Learn more and stay up to date as plans unfold at ketchumsunvalleyeclipse2017.com.
Solar Solutions
The City is seeking creative, innovative, and attractive solar solutions throughout Atkinson Park. View request for proposal details at ketchumidaho.org/rfp. Contact Director of Planning and Building Micah Austin at 727-5084 or maustin@ketchumidaho.org with questions.
Planning for Northwood Natural Area
The City is requesting plans for public access and recreational use at the City-owned Northwood Natural Area located at 100 Park Circle. Details can be found at ketchumidaho.org/rfp. Contact Parks & Recreation Director Jen Smith at 726-7820 or jsmith@ketchumidaho.org if you have questions.
KIC Presents Women's Entrepreneur Event
Network, refresh your skills, and gain new insight on your passions on April 20 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Ketchum Innovation Center, 311 First Avenue. Boise State University Director of Economic Development Cece Gassner and KIC board member and author Kathryn Kemp Guylay will facilitate the event.
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 17. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here to see the agenda and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Planning and Zoning Commission 
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 8. P&Z meetings are held on the second Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Public Comment 
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to participate@ketchumidaho.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
You are receiving this email because you have requested it or done business with the City of Ketchum in the past. We appreciate our residents, businesses and visitors and look forward to telling you more about Ketchum and receiving your input. To subscribe, click here. If you would like to unsubscribe, please click on the link below.

City of Ketchum