As he prepares for the end of his term, Park City Councilman Alex Butwinski says he is pleased with waterworks efforts, relations with the Statehouse and
As he prepares for the end of his term, Park City Councilman Alex Butwinski says he is pleased with waterworks efforts, relations with the Statehouse and City Hall's budgeting process. He was defeated in his re-election bid. Christopher Reeves/Park Record

Park City Councilman Alex Butwinski sees some of the most notable successes of his four years in office as being nuts-and-bolts issues that are critical to the municipal government but perhaps not as visible to Parkites.

And that might be a reason he was defeated in November as he sought a second term. Butwinski leaves the City Council in early January after having served as Park City navigated through the recession and into a more recent period of solid economic numbers locally.

"I had nothing sexy to run on," Butwinski said, describing that the successful construction of a water-treatment plant is not something that will draw the interest of voters even though it is important to the functioning of the city.

Butwinski, 65 years old and a Park Meadows resident, has lived in Park City since 1999. He is a management consultant. Butwinski was especially interested in City Hall's budget during his four years as the municipal government handled the impacts of the recession.

Butwinski said he is proud of City Hall's budgeting process, which attempts to match municipal revenues with the levels of service the city offers. He also noted that City Hall's bond ratings remain high.

"We have money in the bank. That's a good place to be," Butwinski said.

Some other issues Butwinski is pleased with as he leaves office include:

  • a regional waterworks agreement that provides what is known as water redundancy, meaning that if a water source fails there is water available from another one. Redundancy is important to Park City since some of the municipal water comes from tunnels that are susceptible to problems.

    "I don't think it resonated with the public how important that is," Butwinski said.

  • relationships he built at the Statehouse. He said the discussions between City Hall and state officials resulted in the state's Military Installation Development Authority, sometimes referred to as MIDA, choosing not to pursue a development along the U.S. 40 corridor. City Hall was leery of a development, saying that the entryway would have been dramatically changed if the project was built.

    "They weren't on the radar screen of most people, how significant they are. Big deal, MIDA didn't come here," Butwinski said.

  • the efforts to expand the amount of art that is on public display in Park City. As one of his assignments, Butwinski attended meetings of the Public Art Advisory Board on behalf of the elected officials. He said the sculpture depicting bicyclists outside the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center was one of the successes.

  • the continued protection of land from development. Butwinski said a notable conservation agreement during his term was a 121-acre swath of land adjacent to Round Valley.

    He said his time on City Council was "incredibly rewarding" and he encouraged people to become involved at City Hall. Butwinski was a City Hall watcher prior to his election, regularly attending meetings as a member of the public. He said he anticipates occasionally attending City Council meetings. Butwinski also said he has been asked to join the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.

    Butwinski said his biggest concerns for Park City's future are the related issues of growth and traffic. He said Park City must shape growth in a fashion that protects the community.

    "You can have growth and not lose a small-town feel," he said.

    Butwinski acknowledged that he remains disappointed with his defeat on Election Day. He was the third-place finisher with the top two winning seats. The defeat followed a first-place finish for Butwinski in the August primary. He said he perhaps could have further stressed land conservation during the fall campaign and better defined his position on the idea to redevelop Bonanza Park.

    "The body of work I had over four years didn't resonate or didn't connect with the voters," Butwinski said.