Andy Beerman said on Monday he will seek the mayor's office this fall, making the first-term member of the Park City Council the first person to declare themselves a candidate for the city's highest office.
The decision was made early in Park City's election cycle and shortly after Mayor Dana Williams, the three-term incumbent, indicated he would not seek a fourth term. Beerman had recently said he was considering a campaign regardless of the decision by Williams.
Beerman cannot formalize his candidacy until the early June window opens when candidates must file campaign paperwork at City Hall.
"I think I can set the right tone for this town," Beerman said, describing one that is optimistic and energetic.
Beerman is 43 years old and lives in Old Town. He won his City Council seat in 2011 and would leave the seat midterm should he win the mayor's office. Beerman was elected to the City Council on a broad platform that included economic expansion and environmentalism.
He is an owner-operator of the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street. He was previously the president of the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses on or just off Main Street. He said he offers a "good mix of experience."
Beerman said he intends to campaign on a platform that combines traditional Park City planks like improving transit with ones that seem relatively new to politics such as strengthening the city's digital infrastructure.
Some of Beerman's key points include:
There has been widespread interest in what have been early discussions about links involving the three mountain resorts, including an idea to build a gondola between Deer Valley Resort and Main Street.
Beerman said Park City would enjoy a marketing edge should there be a connection involving the local resorts someday. He also said connections could reduce traffic in Park City, long a goal of City Hall.
"Cars and traffic are the antithesis of community," Beerman said.
He acknowledged that decisions about connections will rest with the private sector, but he said City Hall could assist with the vision.
Beerman recently appeared at a cocktail party at the home of retired politician Sally Elliott, who served in elected office in Park City and Summit County. He had not declared himself a candidate by then, but it was expected that the event was to be a preview of a campaign. The event was not public.
Beerman moved to Park City in 1995, and he would be the first mayor who arrived during the boom years of the 1990s.
Nobody else has publicly spoken about an interest in seeking the mayor's office this year. Without the incumbent on the ballot, though, others could see this year as an opportune time to mount a campaign. If more than two people run for the office, a primary would be held to reduce the field to two candidates for Election Day.
The window when candidates must file paperwork at City Hall runs from June 3 until June 7. Two City Council spots, those held by Alex Butwinski and Cindy Matsumoto -- are also on the ballot this year.