Letters to the Editor
October 22, 2008
I am writing in regards to the campaigning currently going on for 5 County Council people, specifically the race for County Council Seat C, between Tom Hurd and John Hanrahan.
I was a little taken aback by the tone of John Haranahan’s campaign claiming his opponent Tom Hurd is "out of touch with the county and the city" and therefore not qualified for this position.
As a native Utahn I have been living in Summit County more than 25 years. Over the years I have watched as the county has evolved and witnessed the politics involved in properly managing the changes that always occur with new growth and development. Throughout these many years I, as well as many others, have sought out the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of Tom Hurd regarding county issues. Tom is always well researched, well spoken and not afraid to challenge positions that might not be popular, as he is always working in the best interest of the people and our county. While his opponent was out negotiating with tribal people in Africa, Tom Hurd was working for the people of Summit County as a constable; he also served on the Historic District guiding the preservation of our historic structures. For years Tom Hurd has taken his time and energy to get actively involved in the management of our county and its operations. His skills as a highly effective money manager will ensure that our county is managed as a business, with accountability, honesty, and planning for a successful future. I also support Tom Hurd’s position against using bonds to purchase open space; he is not against open space, he is against borrowing money to pay for it. We live in a very generous community and many of the largest open space acquisitions by the county have been DONATED. It seems to make sense to spend our energy creating incentives benefiting these types of transactions rather than spending now and paying later. I know a lot of people in the county and I would be hard pressed to find anyone more qualified and "in touch" with the people than Tom Hurd.
This seems to be the election year for candidates to spin their unusual personal accomplishments as experience for representing the people, regardless of any actual experience working in government.
While I commend Mr. Hanrahan on his adventures and accomplishments with tribal people, it seems this hardly qualifies him for county council, or proves any knowledge of county issues or the people living here. Quite honestly, it appears as though John is the one who is "out of touch" and sort of removed from the issues facing the people of Summit County.
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Vote for Tom Hurd for County Council Seat C.
A vote for McCain means free champagne
I read Kendall’s recent letter to the editor ("Obama would punish small businesses," Park Record, Oct. 18) several times. It was difficult to understand his point at times and correcting his errors would take too much newsprint. So I decided to see if there were any points on which Kendall and I agreed. And indeed there were.
Kendall refers to the "bloated welfare state." The American taxpayers have paid Halliburton and other defense contractors hundreds of billions of dollars over the years for unnecessary, overpriced, and often useless equipment. The Congress recently approved nearly a trillion dollars in welfare payments to banks and other financial institutions. But my favorite example of bloated welfare is the theft of more than $5 trillion from the unborn by the born. That’s almost $17,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. That makes Kendall a $17,000 welfare queen! If there are enough persons in his household, perhaps he can buy a Cadillac.
Kendall implies that small business owners should be taxed at a lower rate than should other Americans. As a small business owner myself, I can jump on that bandwagon. I’ve never been happy about paying my fair share. It’s just not, well, fair!
Kendall says that most small businesses don’t file tax returns or pay taxes. Actually, that’s true. Yet he goes on to refer to tax increases on small businesses. How can one increase something that is zero?
Kendall also implies that if my taxes go up, I will not hire more people. That’s true. In fact, I might just fire my whole staff, even though they are the source of my income and I would have to take over doing whatever it is that they do. Or maybe I’ll just shut the doors and go on welfare. That will show those liberals never to underestimate the irrationality and stupidity of us small business owners!
Kendall also implies that we Americans should not have to pay for the services we receive from government. We should be able to have the services that government provides – defense, police and fire protection, education, protection of food, research into diseases, protection of the environment, maintenance of national parks and the national highway system, etc – for free. He asserts that paying for those services, i.e., taxes, is a form of punishment. I agree! But he doesn’t take it far enough. I think that Albertsons should stop punishing me every time I stop by for some groceries. I think the gas station should stop punishing me every time I need gas. (Lest my clients get any ideas, getting services for free applies only to Kendall and me, not to you.)
In summary, Obama is too much of an adult. Vote for McCain and keep the free champagne and caviar flowing. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood in which we can have everything we want, do anything we want, and all without fear of "punishment." After all, what could go wrong?
God save the County from the Queen
For the last year or so I have been watching the (Snyderville Basin) Planning and Zoning Commission in all its splendor. Granted, it is a volunteer and thankless position to be on. What I cannot do is hold my words back any longer in reference to these letters being sent in on how grand Ms. McMullin will be in this very important new position. She is quite the opposite of what her friends portray her to be: rude, quick on the trigger and just out right disrespectful of the public. This even might be an understatement of the real undisputable facts.
Disagree with me, of course you will. Go back to a few KPCW archives and listen to the gruffness and the utter disregard to the citizens in attendance at these meetings and workshops. Her revolting attitude, sadly to say, has been the normal in quite a few meetings of this committee, not the exception. She might understand the procedures of our County government, but her serving on the new form of government that will be in effect – will she destabilize the process? Electing this person will be a undermining of what "Summit Steps Forward" strived vigorously to accomplish. She is running in this position, putting it mildly, comparing it with stuffing the ballot box with her friends at the Democratic primary at the Resort a few months back.
Steve Weinstein, on the other hand, is the person for a position on the new board. He has the mindset and temperament to be an asset to this new body that we are about to elect.
Dedication is his middle name
Dr. John Hanrahan is a remarkable man who would serve us well in public office.
John co-founded the humanitarian organization "The Hope Alliance," which provides medical supplies, clinics, community building projects, sanitation education and much more to needy countries around the world. Check out their Web site to get an idea of the man who wants to serve the Park City community.
I have been privileged to volunteer at their headquarters and to participate in a medical mission to the Amazon. I’ve witnessed first hand the extraordinary organizational skill John brings to every project he manages. He is a leader in the truest sense of the word – a man so dedicated to serving others that he inspires action, generates change and affects thousands of lives for the better.
John also helped start the People’s Health Clinic of Park City, a privately funded group dedicated to providing health services to any resident without health insurance.
This is the kind of person who would hold Park City’s best interests to heart. He is a loving and dedicated family man and a community member who sees possibilities for positive change and acts on them.
Sally forth with Elliott
I would like to voice my wholehearted support for Sally Elliott for election to the Summit County Council. As a trustee of the Summit County Library I have worked closely with Sally and witnessed her dedication and hard work. Recently, due in good part to her efforts, the library received approval to purchase a badly needed new bookmobile which will put into service early next year and will extend the libraries’ outreach services. Sally is a tireless representative who puts the interests of all our residents first. She will be of invaluable assistance with the transition to the new county executive by bringing an objective viewpoint to the future needs of the County and helping to prioritize them. She truly represents all residents of all areas of Summit County.
Tips for a fun, safe Halloween
The Park City Fire District would like to offer these few safety tips to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe Halloween this year:
Purchase light-colored costumes and masks which are flame resistant. Since many fabrics are easily ignited, please check labels to make sure that costumes are flame retardant.
Avoid masks that obstruct vision and/or breathing.
Travel in groups and stay on the sidewalk as much as possible.
Check all candy and treats for anything suspicious before eating.
Park City Fire District
Aguilar brings a teacher’s perspective
In this election season, our nation and state are at a crossroads. As voters, we have some important decisions to make. In so many areas, we can choose to support the status quo, or we can cast our vote in favor of a new approach.
This applies even in our local races. Consider the school board elections. Now, maybe you think our public schools are in great shape. If so, you may not care who’s elected to the school board. But maybe you know, as others do, that even Park City’s schools face challenges. These challenges, if not effectively met, could impact not only our children, but our community as well.
The members of our school board should be capable of making an objective assessment of our school system, of identifying and remedying clear problems where they exist. They need the courage and vision to do all that is necessary to ensure that Park City’s public schools are the premier source of quality education for all our children.
Gerd Holmsen Aguilar has that courage and vision. Gerd is a retired teacher with over 40 years experience in the pubic schools. She has taught grades K through 8, and has directed both home school and summer school programs. For the past four years, Gerd has also volunteered at McPolin Elementary.
The breadth and depth of experience that Gerd offers will provide a much-needed perspective on the school board. A vote for Gerd will ensure that we have a diversity of opinions and skill-sets on the board, which will help foster new and creative thinking.
Please vote for Gerd Holmsen Aguilar for the Park City Board of Education (Precinct 3).
Is Chris Robinson a closet Republican?
Candidate Chris Robinson left many unanswered questions in his recent Park Record editorial. In the past, Mr. Robinson has supported Republican causes and candidates including substantial contributions to Republican Mitt Romney. Is he really a closet Republican who switched horses just for this election? Why would he switch? Was Mr. Robinson involved and did he benefit in the controversial TDR transfer with Dave Allen, who transferred substantial density from miles away while still a county employee? Is Randy Cassidy really an independent contractor as Mr. Robinson suggests? Documents that I will post on oursummitcounty.org raise questions that Chris may have some more explaining to do. For example, the County TDR manager Randy Cassidy is both a County and Chris Robinson employee. Mr. Cassidy asked the County in an email to pay Robinson’s company for his services. The Ensign Group, owned by Robinson, has billed the County for other services in the past. Cassidy is not limited to just his salary with the County; it appears that he also gets very large commissions from sales of County assets. Did Chris know that and has he shared past commissions with Randy Cassidy? It also appears that Robinson’s former partner, Dave Allen, is pushing the PRI deal with Bob Richer. They want to get it done before the election so that they can slam it through before the new County council is seated. Can we expect another TDR play from Robinson’s 55,000 acres onto a portion of PRI in the future or for that matter anywhere else? Is PRI really going to be 100% open space or is this just another million-dollar land play where the public is calmed by a dose of open space while developers stack up millions and more development in the SR 224 corridor? Chris, why don’t you tell us what you know and can you commit that you will not use TDR transfers for your own account while in office? Developers have made millions of dollars using TDRs that your employee manages. Don’t you think there is a conflict to either run or have Mr. Cassidy remain a County employee who controls TDRs? The County and hence your employee Randy Cassidy can’t give the public a full accounting of TDRs. Don’t you see a problem for the public with that arrangement?
Greg S. Ericksen
Lofft understands rural issues
I am writing to urge Summit County voters to support Kathy Lofft in the election on November 4th. Many people may not know that Kathy comes from a farming family. Years ago, however, her family had to sell the property and Kathy now has no connection to the land or the community that nurtured her parents and grandparents. Kathy understands, on a fundamental level, that landowners have rights, and one of those rights is to choose NOT to develop their land. Our current government has a variety of tools in place to support landowners who do want to develop their lands for houses or resorts.
Our current system provides infrastructure and schools for those new developments. But Kathy Lofft will work to insure that our governmental policies will also support those landowners who wish to keep their lands in agricultural production. There are many things that the Utah State Legislature can do to support these landowners, such as funding the Lee Ray MacAlister fund and voting for programs that provide tax incentives to landowners who chose not to place further burdens on our public services and schools because they keep their lands in agriculture. If you, like my family, are passionate about preserving our quality of life and value the rural heritage of Summit County, please vote for Kathy Lofft.
Tonja Blonquist Hanson