City Hall election: no Basin dwellers, please
Ryan Summerlin May 7, 2013
Parkites only, please.
As the City Hall election season approaches, there appears to be at least some confusion about who is eligible to mount a campaign for the mayor’s office or one of the Park City Council seats that are on the ballot.
The age requirement — 18 years old by Election Day — is simple enough. But another requirement — that the person lives within the Park City limits — has tripped up people in past elections.
And it seems that confusion remains.
City Hall’s election officer, Sharon Bauman, said in an interview she has fielded one phone call from someone inquiring about the election who was determined not to be eligible. The person, an unidentified woman, appeared to be interested in campaigning for the mayor’s office, Bauman said.
The woman, however, indicated she lives in location in the Snyderville Basin. That makes her ineligible to seek elected office in Park City. Bauman explained the situation to the woman. The person contacted Bauman several weeks ago, as the upcoming campaign began receiving wider publicity.
Bauman said later she anticipates more people from the Basin will contact her about the campaign starting in the middle of May, as the window when candidates must submit campaign paperwork approaches. The window runs from June 3 until June 7.
The Park City limits generally are bordered by the McPolin Farm, the upper reaches of Deer Valley, Quinn’s Junction and the fringes of Park Meadows. The city is mostly hemmed in by the unincorporated areas of Summit County.
There has long been confusion among some people in the Basin about whether they live within the Park City limits or whether they are eligible to serve in elected office in Park City.
Some attribute the confusion to the widespread use of the name "Park City" when referring to the West Side of Summit County. Postal addresses on the West Side use Park City regardless of whether the location is inside the city limits. Many people who live in the Basin, meanwhile, associate themselves with living in Park City.
The government body most responsible for policies in the Basin is the Summit County Council. Elections are held for County Council seats in even-numbered years. There is not a mayor of Summit County.
During the 2009 City Hall campaign, the most recent year the mayor’s office was on the ballot, the election officer at the time indicated at least three people from outside the Park City limits expressed an interest in a bid for mayor.
One of the people was preparing to fill out campaign paperwork but did not do so after being told he was not eligible and might violate state and local laws if he submitted the form.
The eligibility requirements for someone to seek elected office in Park City are:
City Hall has published an information sheet about the upcoming election. It includes the eligibility requirements and a map of the Park City boundaries identifying the neighborhoods that are within the city limits. The information sheet and map are available on the City Hall website, www.parkcity.org. Select the ‘Government’ button at the top of the page and then ‘Election Information 2013’ from the dropdown menu.