City of Ketchum P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life" 
Governor names March"Idaho Arts and Culture Month"!                                  Art Photos by Marybeth Flower 

Our hearts and
prayers are with Bowe.
February 27, 2014
A Message from Mayor Nina Jonas

I shared the joy of skiing this week with a drummer from Texas.  Every winter, the Paul Tillotson Trio plays at the historic Duchin Room in the Sun Valley Lodge.  Paul typically finds these cats from urban places without mountains and snow recreation.  The trio fills the "love lounge" with high-energy jazz that makes me laugh and tap.  During a set break, I learned that Andrew, the drummer from Texas, had never been skiing.  The words, "I'll take you skiing," popped out of my mouth before my brain could remind me that "you have no time!"


Later that week, we met at Dollar on a perfect winter fun under a summer sun day.  We were there to conquer the basics of skiing; the shuffle, the herringbone, the side-step, the side-slip, the snow plow (now named the wedge) and the chairlift ride.


After three hours, we had taken five runs on Quarter Dollar and two runs on Half Dollar.  There were spills and pale looks of terror but there was also the "I get it" moment as one pressurized turn linked to another and a smile replaced the terror.  And there was the moment of giggled glee as Andrew experienced speed!  Oh, how can I not share this!


We, who live here, know the splendor of what we have.  When visitors arrive, we want them to know and feel the same joy that we live.  It is with this joy that we embrace a group like the National Brotherhood of Skiers, an Olympic gold medalist like Kaitlyn Farrington and a drummer from Texas.  We thank them for being part of our experience and enjoying our mountain lifestyle with us. 


- Mayor Nina Jonas 

Meeting Information
City Council
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 pm on Monday, March 3, where 13 members of the Ketchum Fire Department and Ketchum Police Chief, Steve Harkins, will receive Ketchum Fire Department Life Saving Commendations for two recent incidents in which cardiac arrest patients were revived.  City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall.  Click here to see the agenda and packet.
Planning and Zoning Commission
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.  The next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 pm on Monday, March 10 in Ketchum City Hall.  Click here for agendas and meeting packets.
Public Comment 
If you cannot attend the meetings and have an opinion, please submit your comments via email to  Your input and engagement is encouraged.  All comments will be entered into public record and reviewed by the Mayor and Council.
Ramon Silver to Serve as Interim City Administrator

The City is proud to welcome Ramon "Ray" Silver as the interim city administrator beginning Tuesday, March 4. Silver, who brings experience as a city manager, city administrator and director of land use, has been selected to temporarily fill the position vacated by Gary Marks.


Silver was selected based on his extensive budgeting, community development, tourism and economic development experience. Silver has served as the City Administrator for the City of Huntington Beach and as the City Manager for the cities of Coronado, Upland and Westminster, California. 


"I was immediately drawn to Ketchum's special charm and beauty," Silver said, "but I'm most looking forward to working with the City Council and Mayor Jonas in the upcoming months, while enjoying all this community's landscape and citizens have to share." 


Silver has been integral in numerous public sector community projects including tourism, economic development, strategic planning, community development, land use and budgeting. In the City of Coronado, California, Silver assisted the Mayor and City Council in working with staff and private developers, to construct two four-star hotels, which complemented the Hotel Del Coronado. Silver also supported the implementation of the City's strategic plan in Huntington Beach, which called for evolving what was considered to be a daytime destination to an overnight destination. Resort hotels were erected and new development standards were adopted as a part of Silver's work in that area.


"Ray stood out as a candidate as we reviewed applicants because of his extensive work in city government, particularly in his role as city manager for the City of Coronado, California," Jonas said.  "In his role, Ray worked closely with private developers and staff to ensure the successful construction of two four-star hotels."


The City looks forward to seeing Silver apply his administrative success to the City of Ketchum, and we would like to extend our gratitude to him for taking on the interim position.


While Silver serves his temporary role, the City will continue to search for a permanent candidate for Ketchum's City Administrator.

Know Your Snow: Avalanche Danger and Resources Keeping Ketchum Safer

Avalanche warnings have inundated the Wood River Valley during the last two weeks as persistent snowfall coupled with strong winds continue to hit the region. The past three years, we have not had any avalanche accidents in the Sawtooth Avalanche Center region but this winter we have experienced one fatality and one serious accident with life-threatening injuries. Since 1996, we have had a total of 17 fatalities in the Sawtooth Forecast region and several life-saving rescues of critically injured avalanche victims.    


Although conditions are improving, the region wide snowpack continues to have some weak layering and more storms are anticipated this weekend. The City would like to be proactive in preparing you for Mother Nature by providing useful avalanche information and resources. 


Spotting the Signs

According to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, warning signs of potential avalanche danger include recent avalanche activity, large amounts of windblown snow, heavy snowfall or rain during a 24-hour period, drastic temperature increases (especially a thaw) and significantly weaker layers of snow buried within the snowpack. Along with these red flags, it is important to recognize avalanche terrain. For a slope to slide, it must be approximately 30 degrees or steeper.


Know your slope angles. The Sun Valley Ski Patrol is at work on Bald Mountain before skiers arrive to reduce the avalanche hazard of their slopes.  During operating hours, inbound open slopes do not represent backcountry conditions but well-known ski runs are useful comparisons of slope steepness.  For example, Warm Springs Face is 34 degrees, steep enough to slide. Someone below this steeper face, but on lower angle terrain is exposed to avalanche debris running down from above, depending upon the size of the slide and the distance it runs. Upper Graduate is 32 degrees, steep enough to slide. Flying Squirrel is 27-28 degrees, not steep enough to slide and there are no steeper slopes above it. The same is true for College.  Smaller slopes can slide and bury or injure a person, especially if the debris piles up deeply or sweeps them into trees.  During avalanche conditions, stay alert for what slopes lie above you.  


In the White

Living in a mountain town full of outdoor recreation, it becomes critical to your livelihood to know what avalanche warning signs to look for. If you recreate in avalanche terrain, check conditions, be prepared, one person on a slope at a time, carry avalanche rescue gear and most importantly, know how to use it. This applies to skiers and snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, sledders, hikers and dog walkers. In the event you are caught in the middle of an avalanche, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center advises several courses of action.
  • Attempt to get off the slab.  
  • If a tree is nearby, hang on to its downhill side.
  • Attempt to take off any skis, poles or board.
  • Roll onto your back with your feet facing downhill.
  • Move your arms and legs as if you were swimming.
  • Try to force some part of your body above the surface.
  • Make an airspace around your mouth. It will be up to your partners to locate you in time. 
Along with these avalanche red flags and proactive measures, there are other helpful resources you can take with you to the backcountry or just around town. Each day, by 7:30 am, the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center provides backcountry avalanche conditions and an excellent weather forecast. The Avalanche Center advisories are for backcountry recreation and are not forecasts for municipalities or roads but the information can often be useful for residents and visitors.  Their daily avalanche advisory is available at You can also subscribe to their daily advisory e-mail from their web page. A phone recording of the advisory can be reached at 208.622.8027 or leave a message at 208.622.0095. These additional online resources offer avalanche training sessions and current advisories; and
Appointments Made to Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency

As the terms of two Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency (KURA) commissioners came to an end, the Ketchum City Council took the opportunity to review the bylaws of the agency to ensure the most effective ratio of citizens to elected officials sat on the KURA board. Based on community feedback and conversation with members of the community and current board members, the bylaws now state that the board consists of seven members: three elected officials serving two-year terms and four citizen appointees who must be residents of Blaine County.  At least one of the appointees must be a registered voter in Ketchum.  Click here to read the revised bylaws.


The three elected officials who will serve on the KURA board will be Ketchum City Councilors Anne Corrock, Baird Gourlay and Jim Slanetz. At the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Mayor Jonas made two citizen appointments to fill recently expired terms. Gary Lipton, who is new on the board but not to public service, and Tim Eagan, who previously served, will take the roles as KURA commissioners. Trish Wilson and board chair Mark Eshman will continue their terms.


The City of Ketchum would like to thank past commissioner Trina Peters for her service to the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency. Her leadership and commitment to our community were very valuable during her time on the KURA board. Trina is a committed public servant, volunteer and passionate member of the Ketchum community and we are grateful she has given her time and best thinking to affect positive change in our community.  Trina remains a member of the Ketchum Arts Commission.  


For more information about the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency, please visit their website at

Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee Formed

On Tuesday, February 7, City Council voted unanimously in favor of the creation of the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee. The group originally formed following a work session in late summer to discuss a redundant power line. As the City of Ketchum strives toward increased use of renewable energy, conservation and efficiency, Mayor Nina Jonas saw an opportunity for this well-informed and educated group of individuals to serve as an advisory committee. The group is comprised of individuals from numerous capacities involving energy. They will primarily serve as consultants for the City on energy issues including utility infrastructure, local energy use policy and implementation of community awareness for renewable energy.


Members of the current Energy Advisory Committee include:

-     Aimee Christensen, Christensen Global Strategies

-     Paul Conrad, Site Based Energy

-     Steve Cook, Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commissioner 

-     Molly Goodyear, Environmental Resource Center

-     Wendolyn Holland, Energy Consultant

-     Dean Holter, Christensen Global Strategies

-     Rick LeFaivre, Apple, Inc. (formerly)

-     Bill Mann, Sage Brush Solar

-     Kerrin McCall, Environmental Advocate

-     Mariel Platt, Hailey Sustainability Center 

-     Alan Richardson, American Public Power Association 

-     Josh Solly, Ketchum Energy Company


To read Resolution 14-005, the creation of the Energy Advisory Committee, click here.

Around Town
Kaitlyn Farrington Celebration 
Join the festivities on March 1 to celebrate Kaitlyn's gold at Sochi.  Honor Kaitlyn at the Official Ceremony at Warm Springs Lodge at 4:00 pm followed by a street party celebration!  Click here for details.

Ketchum Innovation Center (KIC)
Celebrate the Grand Opening of the community's new entrepreneurial hub and business incubator at 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 6 at the Center (100 Lindsay Circle).  Click here for details.  Information for prospective tenants can be found here

StreetArt Unveiling  
The Ketchum Utilities Dept. and Ketchum Arts Commission will install two artistic manhole covers in downtown Ketchum on Thursday, March 6.  Please attend and support this initiative for decorative manhole covers throughout the City of Ketchum.  Click here for details.

Water Conservation Seminar
Attend the Conjunctive Management Water Conservation Seminar to learn more about the Wood River Valley Aquifer and ways to conserve our area's water.  The day-long seminar will be held March 7 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Community Campus in Hailey.  Register  here.

Air Service Board Meeting
The next public Air Service Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 12 from 2-4 pm at Ketchum City Hall.  Check here for agenda and packet postings.

Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS)
The Ketchum Police Department offers training to address the laws and dangers of over-service of alcohol, selling to minors and drinking and driving.  The class will be held on Friday, March 14 from 10-3 pm at Ketchum City Hall.  Click here  for details or contact Chief Steve Harkins.

Sculptures Donated to City of Ketchum 
The City of Ketchum and the Ketchum Arts Commission thank Gallery DeNovo, Steven Denholtz and local artist Sue Dumke for their generous donation of two sculptures.  Read full press release here and click to view photo of "Hemingway Mosaic" and "Complementaros."

Ketchum Hiring Recreation Assistant 
The City of Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department is seeking a qualified professional for assistance in various Youth Recreation Programs.  For detailed information, click here.

KDPI Radio - "For A Cause"  
Tune in to KDPI 89.3 FM to hear from Mayor Jonas.  The half-hour program is held on Tuesday's following Council meetings from 12-12:30 pm.  Listen live at 89.3 or visit

2014 Ketchum Comprehensive Plan Adopted by unanimous vote of the Ketchum City Council on Wednesday, February 26!  View the draft here.

Sun Valley Film Festival
Kick off the 2014 Sun Valley Film Festival at the Oscar Party at 5:00 pm on Sunday, March 2 at the Cornerstone Bar & Grill.  The Festival dates are March 13-16 and tickets are on sale here.
Click on the links above and check out our videos, visit our website, sign up for city updates and read about the Avalanche Zone in the featured ordinance.  
Did you know that Ketchum adopted the first avalanche ordinance in the United States?
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City of Ketchum | 208-726-3841 | |
480 East Ave. N.
P.O. Box 2315
Ketchum, ID 83340
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