'Your Voice Matters' at City Hall.

A Thursday panel will almost certainly indicate that is the case even as some Parkites might dispute the assertion

The Park City Attorney's Office has organized a panel discussion that will stress the public process in local government. It is billed as a community workshop called Your Voice Matters.

Scheduled panelists are: Park City Attorney Mark Harrington, Nicole Cottle, who is the community and economic development director at West Valley City, and Carl Fisher, the executive director of Save Our Canyons.

The event is scheduled at 6 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building.

The panel will cover topics like public hearings, approvals, how someone may monitor the government process and how someone can learn about a project, according to a City Hall release. It seems the panel will especially discuss planning and zoning issues.

"Participants also will receive expert advice on how to prepare for a public hearing and tips on how to deliver effective testimony before the Planning Commission or City Council," the release says.

People who attend will receive a handbook outlining the public hearing process.

The handbook, dated 2003 and most recently updated in 2008, is posted on the City Hall website. The direct address is: http://www.parkcity.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=311.

The handbook includes sections about legal noticing, due process, what standards City Hall uses when deciding whether an item should be approved and conduct at a public hearing.

It offers tips about providing testimony during City Hall hearings, providing examples. According to the handbook testimony like "We don't want Wal-Mart. We hate Wal-Mart. Why don't you listen to us? We have 100 signatures that say NO WALMART" could be considered to be public clamor.

An example of "good testimony," the handbook says, is: "This application is inconsistent with the area planning recommendation of the General Plan that says big box retail should be avoided due to its negative impacts on existing small retail and our pedestrian oriented business district. The specific application is inconsistent with the applicable CUP criteria because [need to specify]".

The event is free and open to the public. Harrington has organized similar events in the past as a way to educate people about City Hall public hearings.