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Tripp Hutchinson

1. Blaine County Sustainability Manager, Andrew Mentzer, is working with stakeholders to create a climate action plan for the valley. How would you recommend the use of city resources to support the implementation of the plan? 

I have only had the chance to hear Andrew speak once, unfortunately it was over zoom but I was still thoroughly impressed. He is another great example of an educated, qualified and collaborative administrator. Elected officials need to wake up and take advantage of the all star team they currently have to back them up.

Time is the first resource that must be tapped into, Money is the second.

“Climate action plan for the valley” is very important. This plan will only be effective if the entire valley is on board. This means that elected officials from every jurisdiction need to come together and dedicate the time required to see this through. It is easy to make plans, it is much harder to act on them.

The creation of a Sustainability Manager position in the City of Ketchum, following in the county’s footsteps, is a logical step in the right direction. This person would be able to work closely with Andrew because I can tell you, with certainty, that he is understaffed. If we are serious about climate action we need to have dedicated professionals working day in, day out, to actually make progress.

Next, the City of Ketchum needs a dedicated grant writer. Grants are competitive and labor intensive but if we manage to secure them the amount of funding they provide will open many doors. Somewhere is going to get this money, it should and needs to be us. 


2. Given that decisions you make today have climate ramifications for decades to come, what process does the city have, or what process should be put in place, to properly evaluate and prioritize decisions to mitigate climate impact?


The process is simple. We must envision a community that is self-sufficient. To achieve this we need holistic, long run solutions, not performative, consumer based, individualistic actions. Electric cars are great, public transportation is far better. Not using plastic straws might make us feel good about ourselves, making sure that our food came from within one hundred miles does a hell of alot more. Prioritize real, serious solutions and then act. There is no time to waste. 


3. Is there anything else you want to tell your voters about how you would work to address climate change if elected?

Electrify the entirety of the City of Ketchum’s vehicles.

  • Expand and modernize Mountain Rides.

  • Explore the applicability of a microgrid. This includes openly discussing nuclear power. Most anti-nuclear propaganda is the product of the fossil fuel industry.

  • Inform the public on federal incentives for clean energy.

  • Transition Ketchum City Hall to solar.

  • Create and incentivize workforce housing. The commute distance for so many workers is a climate disaster.

  • Mitigate residential water waste.

  • Require the planting of naturally occurring, drought tolerant species.

  • Enforce and protect our riparian setbacks.

  • Defend, protect and improve upon green building code.

  • Incentivize electric/conduction cooktops in new residential development.

  • Incentivize local agriculture. 

  • Bring Climate Action Coalition directly into the discussion. Y’all are the experts in our community and I want to learn from you.

  • Never stop talking about how the United States abandoned trains. 

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