His opponent is out of touch, Democrat says | ParkRecord.com

His opponent is out of touch, Democrat says

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Silver Creek Democrat John Hanrahan says his opponent in the contest for seat C on the new Summit County Council is out of touch with potential constituents. Hanrahan faces Parkite Republican Tom Hurd who today is perhaps best known for strongly opposing pedestrian bonds voters in Park City approved.

Hurd doesn’t want public money spent to preserve open space in Summit County.

"That’s one of the biggest differences that I have with [Hurd]," Hanrahan said. "The entire economy of Summit County is based on tourism and we need open space to continue to highlight what makes this such an attractive place for people to come and visit. I think open space is a huge economic issue for us."

Hurd would have opposed a $10 million open-space bond that recently passed in the Snyderville Basin had he lived there at the time, Hanrahan charged.

"I don’t think [Hurd] is very representative of the constituents who he lives among in Park City," Hanrahan said.

The government purchase of open space at market rate cuts down on traffic and urban sprawl, he explained.

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"That’s huge," Hanrahan said. "If you take it out of development you also don’t have to build the roads there and put the sewer in there, run the water there and police it."

Hanrahan is a physician who claims he has more in common with most eastsiders than he does Hurd.

"I used to take care of a lot of people from the East Side and I feel like I know residents on the East Side well and we share common values," Hanrahan said.

Next year the traditional three-member Summit County Commission form of government will change to the newer five-member council/manager model.

More representation will help bridge philosophical differences that lurk between different geographic areas in Summit County, Hanrahan said.

"The East Side is grappling with that right now in terms of analyzing the planning code," Hanrahan said. "There are a lot of people with different views. Some people think, ‘I should be able to develop my property any way I want to.’ And others say, ‘I have been a rancher here for seven generations and it really impacts me if you do that on your property.’"

Hanrahan said he doesn’t believe in unfettered private-property rights.

"We’ve got to find a balance there," he said. "The growth and development really leads to so many other issues: traffic, pollution and the need for affordable housing I don’t think growth is bad, I think it just needs to be done in a way that makes our community better."

People may know Hanrahan for helping create the Hope Alliance and the People’s Health Clinic.

His Hope Alliance provides aid to third-world nations. He has worked with leaders in areas of Africa where many languages are spoken within just a few square miles.

"I negotiated with multiple different tribal leaders in a hut in Africa trying to get them on the same page with a white guy from the U.S.," Hanrahan said, adding that the People’s Health Clinic provides health care for the uninsured.

The two sides of Summit County are not that different, he added.

"I don’t mean to minimize it but if you go at it with that outlook, that this is a really solvable issue, then it gets solved," Hanrahan said.

Nobody in the county should worry that people on one side will take over the new government, he said.

"The potential council we could have in January would just eradicate that because we have people from all walks of life," Hanrahan said. "Let’s address this divisiveness. Let’s not sweep it under the rug anymore. Let’s just deal with it."

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