Democrat Roger Armstrong said he and opponent Republican Max Greenhalgh, a former Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner, agree community growth is going to present challenges, but, he said, Greenhalgh has a very narrow focus on the issues facing the county.
"Essentially his theory is to follow the Snyderville Basin Development Code and that will fix everything. I think that's partially true. The development code provides great guidance and we should follow it," Armstrong said.
But on issues, such as transportation, air quality, energy and sustainability, Armstrong said he hasn't heard a "thoughtful analysis" from Greenhalgh.
"For example, if we're concerned about energy on a global and national basis, we need to give some consideration on how we can address those issues at the local level," Armstrong said. "Recycling is certainly one way to do it. But I think we can look at others, as well."
Armstrong also pointed out their different "skill sets." As an attorney, Armstrong said he negotiates deals and solutions every day. Greenhalgh, he said, is skilled as a Planning Commissioner and member of the Basin Open Space Advisory Committee (BOSAC).
"I respect that and I think those are great skills to have, but I think it's best he continue to do that at the level he is doing it," Armstrong said. "Frankly, the job of a County Council person at this point is much broader than that. Growth and development are significant issues, but there are other issues we have to deal with."
In contrast, Greenhalgh argues that because he served on the Planning Commission and BOSAC, he is the only candidate that has local government experience. He added he is also skilled at negotiating, and was able to negotiate several projects as a Planning Commissioner.
Greenhalgh served on the Planning Commission for 9 and a half years, from 1996 to 2005, during which time citizens asked that they not allow growth to ruin what makes Summit County special, he said.
"It took us a few years, but we eventually ended up developing a new approach to growth management," Greenhalgh said. "We first identified as a major threat, suburban sprawl, which is development extending along the major corridors leading from or into a city and onto the hillsides and into the meadows."
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission implemented a new system where the densities were rolled back and the remaining density was clustered into the least environmentally sensitive areas, and concentrated populations into resorts, villages and town centers, Greenhalgh said.
But when he and others left the Planning Commission and the Community Development Department, he claims newcomers began making decisions "based on what seemed expedient at the moment instead of on the principles established in the Development Code."
"Roger is a great guy and definitely a true gentleman, but the difference is, I've got the experience," Greenhalgh said. "Because of my history, I'm able to make an impact and make a difference. And the experience and knowledge I have gives me great negotiating opportunities."