Tim Henney is scheduled to take office as a member of the Park City Council a week after what seemed to many Parkites to be an especially busy holiday week in the city.
The evening backups along S.R. 224 and S.R. 248 harkened back to the heady days before the onset of the recession. And there were few parking spots to be found on Main Street.
The congestion, Henney said in an interview as he prepared to take his oath of office, was "on the magnitude we've never seen before." Henney said he wants to combat congestion as one of his key issues on the City Council.
He wants to reduce the amount of vehicle traffic in Park City through what he envisions as a network of gondolas, ski lifts or both. The idea is to move people between destinations like Main Street, the mountain resorts and satellite parking lots without using vehicles.
Henney did not provide a detailed blueprint. He said, though, a gondola link that has been discussed connecting Silver Lake and Old Town could be part of the network he wants built. He wants people coming to Park City to reach their destination without spending a lot of time driving.
"You can sit in a traffic jam for 45 minutes," Henney said about the congestion on the roads nowadays.
Any upcoming discussions about reducing traffic would continue the long-running efforts by City Hall officials and government leaders outside Park City to cut the number of vehicles on roads like the S.R. 224 and S.R. 248 entryways. Steps like the expansion of the bus routes and the creation of high-occupancy vehicle lanes have already been taken.
Henney, meanwhile, also intends to advance his middle class platform, something that he credits for helping him win a spot on the City Council. He said housing that is in the price range of the middle class of Park City will be important. He noted opportunities in Bonanza Park, the mountain resorts and Park City Heights.
Henney is worried that Park City will lose its middle class over time if housing becomes unaffordable. Henney would like Park City to have a "diverse housing stock" and will study development proposals for their work force and middle class housing.
"It pretty much is the heart of Park City," Henney said about the middle class.
Henney is 55 years old and lives in lower Deer Valley. He has lived in Park City for nearly 22 years. He works in real estate investment and management, and he co-owns a building on Deer Valley Drive where the Christian Center of Park City is located.
Henney and Mayor-elect Jack Thomas participated in a City Hall orientation as they readied for the upcoming oaths of office. Henney said there have been meetings with the managers of municipal departments and tours of facilities. The orientation has involved 3 1/2-hour sessions on weekdays, he said.
Henney said he is impressed with City Hall's budgeting procedure, which attempts to match municipal revenues with the levels of service the city offers. Henney said it is a "very progressive means of budgeting." He also mentioned City Hall's wide ranging efforts to reduce its impact on the environment, such as reducing utility use.
Henney said he sees competent, progressive and professional staffers within the municipal government. He acknowledged that the "glittering, shining bits" of City Hall have been on display during the orientation.
"The city has a really amazing story to tell . . . Our community can be very proud," Henney said.
Henney is scheduled to take his oath of office during a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6 in the City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. Thomas will also take his oath of office at the ceremony. City Councilwoman Cindy Matsumoto will be sworn in for her second term.