Andy Beerman says a second mayoral bid is possible | ParkRecord.com

Andy Beerman says a second mayoral bid is possible

City Councilor would seek top office if the incumbent retires

by Jay Hamburger
THE PARK RECORD

Andy Beerman, a Park City Councilor who unsuccessfully sought the mayor's office four years ago, said on Wednesday he would mount a second campaign for the city's top position if the incumbent mayor does not seek re-election.

Beerman's comment, made during in an interview with The Park Record, is the most direct statement about the upcoming mayoral campaign to date. The incumbent, Mayor Jack Thomas, has not declared whether he will seek re-election. Thomas said earlier in the week it would be at least several weeks before he announces his political plans for 2017.

It is believed potential mayoral candidates like Beerman are awaiting the decision by Thomas. If the incumbent seeks re-election, some who are considering a bid for the mayor's office would likely not challenge Thomas. Should Thomas not seek a second term, there could be a wider candidate interest without the incumbent on the ballot.

"I would run if Jack chooses to retire," Beerman said, adding that he would support the incumbent's re-election campaign if Thomas seeks a second term. "I'd like to make sure we keep moving forward with our priorities."

Beerman is 47 and lives in Old Town. He moved to Park City in 1995. He and his wife own significant residential and commercial holdings at the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street. The couple recently sold the lodging firm that manages the property. He is widely seen as a businessperson, but Beerman also touts a long history of environmentalism.

Beerman is in his second term as a City Councilor. He lost the 2013 mayoral campaign to Thomas. The two have worked well together in the three-plus years since Thomas took office, though. The 2013 campaign became intense toward the end as the two mayoral candidates sought to succeed the popular retiring three-term mayor, Dana Williams.

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Beerman's service has included key City Council assignments like working with City Hall's open space panel, the Mountain Accord that is considering the future of the Wasatch Mountain region, the Utah League of Cities and Towns that represents local governments in the state and the currently dormant efforts regarding a future bid for a Winter Olympics. He has served as the mayor pro tem, shifting mayoral duties to him in the absence of Thomas, and Thomas has involved him in critical discussions like those involving a trademark dispute centered on the name "Park City" and the planned acquisition of Bonanza Flats for conservation purposes.

Beerman said a mayoral campaign platform would stress issues that resemble City Hall's current work plan, notably housing, energy, transportation and open space. Leaders see the issues as being closely linked and critical to the municipal government's overriding goal of Park City becoming a more sustainable community.

Beerman said a term as mayor could be a move toward "taking action on the community priorities." He said the mayor will be important as City Hall pursues the priorities through policy making, community discussions and budgeting.

"I could be effective in the mayor's role should it become available," he said, describing that he would offer a "support role" if Thomas seeks and wins re-election.

Beerman was seen as the early front-runner in the 2013 campaign, a City Councilor who had already won elected office just two years earlier. But Thomas, then a member of the Park City Planning Commission, employed a reserved campaign strategy that was attractive to voters.

Beerman said a campaign mistake in 2013 involved his decision to address issues of the future rather than focusing on concerns of the present. He also acknowledged that critics of his campaign exploited his business background, including his role leading a Main Street-centered group called the Historic Park City Alliance. His environmental work was discounted during the 2013 campaign, he said.

The filing window for the City Hall campaign runs from June 1 until June 7. There are also two City Council seats on the ballot, now held by Cindy Matsumoto and Tim Henney.

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