In early campaign twist, two Park City Council candidates withdraw
June 12, 2015
Two candidates for the Park City Council ended their campaigns this week within days of starting their bids for elected office, eliminating the need to hold an August primary and providing a political twist in the early days of the election.
Josh Hobson filed paperwork at City Hall on Wednesday withdrawing from the contest based on a residency issue. Mark Blue formally ended his campaign on Thursday, indicating in an interview he withdrew as a result of "unexpected family issues."
Six candidates remain for the three City Council seats on the ballot. A primary election would have been needed if more than six people mounted campaigns. It would have reduced the field to six for Election Day.
The reason for Hobson’s departure from the campaign is especially noteworthy. Hobson lives just outside the Park City limits. Someone must have been a Park City resident for at least 12 consecutive months to qualify as a City Council candidate. He did not realize he lived outside the city limits at the time he submitted campaign paperwork.
Hobson lives on Snows Lane on the edge of Thaynes Canyon. The address on Snows Lane where he lives is situated in a part of unincorporated Summit County just outside the Park City limits.
Marci Heil, the city recorder, said City Hall staffers discovered the address was outside the Park City limits and alerted Hobson.
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"I’m a few hundred yards past where the city-county line is," Hobson, who is a renter, said, adding, "It’s disappointing and frustrating."
Hobson was the second person during this year’s City Council election to end a campaign based on the residency requirement. Morgan Irvin, who lives on a street close to Kimball Junction, withdrew shortly after filing campaign paperwork.
There have been a few people who lived in the Snyderville Basin over the years express interest in campaigning in Park City. They have generally lived well outside the Park City limits, though, rather than on the edge of the city limits like Hobson.
Hobson is a Deer Valley Resort sous chef who has lived locally since 2011. He said in an interview his campaign platform would have included transit and housing issues.
Hobson said he lived inside the Park City limits, on Park Avenue close to the Park City Library and Education Center, until early April.
"I had no idea I moved out of town," he said.
He said he will consider moving into the Park City limits and mounting another City Council campaign in 2017.
Blue, meanwhile, said he intended to run a campaign focusing on issues like safety in Park City, including at construction sites, Main Street parking and City Hall planning and permitting topics. Blue campaigned for the City Council four times between 2001 and 2009. He garnered limited support from voters in the previous campaigns.
There are three seats on the ballot in November. One incumbent, City Councilman Andy Beerman, is seeking re-election. The City Councilors who hold the two other seats Liza Simpson and Dick Peek are retiring from office.
The rest of the field for November’s election includes a diverse group of Parkites. Becca Gerber has experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors and is a member of City Hall’s Recreation Advisory Board. Nann Worel is a not-for-profit executive and is a member of the Park City Planning Commission. Rory Murphy is a developer who once was a Planning Commissioner. Hope Melville is a member of the Park City Historic Preservation Board. Dan Portwood unsuccessfully sought the mayor’s office in 2009 and manages facilities and assets at Nutraceutical.