Candidate field for midterm appointment to City Council is taking shape
The field competing for a midterm Park City Council appointment involves a diverse range of people, including a former member of the City Council.
The application window closed Friday. Mayor Andy Beerman and the four members of the City Council plan to interview the field and make a selection on Jan. 23.
Summaries of the first set of applications follow. Later applications will be summarized in the Jan. 10 edition of The Park Record.
Chadwick Fairbanks lives on Aspen Springs Drive and has lived in Park City for a little longer than a year. His application indicates he owns businesses in the retail automotive and transportation industries. His business background would be beneficial to the City Council as the municipal government addresses issues like travel, parking and business development, he says in the application.
Fairbanks also notes he competed for the congressional seat that covers Park City as an independent candidate in District 1 of the House of Representatives. He says he is “well-versed in geopolitical issues having ran for US Congress, District #1 as well as having spent 12 years in the Army and formerly being a contractor” with the National Security Agency.
Fern Baird lives on Captain Molly Drive and has lived in Park City for three and a half years. Baird’s application says she works in the real estate industry and she has volunteered for not-for-profit and religious organizations. She says in the application Park City “is a progressive into the future city.”
“I want to participate in making things happen with like minded people,” she says in the application.
Baird also says she thinks abstractly, looks at issues from differing perspectives and expresses “opinions without having to be ‘right.’”
Baird also includes a resume that shows previous posts at Park City Mountain Resort, where she was a mountain host and concierge, and Deer Valley Resort, where she was a ski instructor and teacher-camp counselor. Her volunteer work includes the Park City Film Series and the Egyptian Theatre.
Eric Hermann lives on Norfolk Avenue and has lived in Park City for five years. Hermann’s application says he is on the leadership board of the Park City Hospital and supports numerous not-for-profit organizations like Mountain Trails Foundation and the Kimball Art Center.
Hermann says in his application Park City is preparing to make decisions that “will shape our town for years to come, driven in large part by our transition from a small town to a world-class resort that plays year-round host to a huge variety of athletic, cultural, and other events.”
He says challenges include developments like Treasure and at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. Hermann also says there is “tension of a population with a broad range of incomes, and one that includes tourists, part-time homeowners, and full-time residents.”
Hermann also says Park City “must balance the many desirable uses for city funds versus long term financial health” as he addresses City Hall spending.
Josh Hobson lives on Park Avenue, has lived in Park City for six years and unsuccessfully campaigned for a City Council seat in 2017. He says in the application his “most prominent” role in Park City was being the lead organizer of the March for Science, and he also holds an office in the Summit County Democratic Party. He says in the application a broader range of incomes is needed in government.
“More working citizens are needed at all levels of government. Yet few people making under the median household income step forward to do so. In a community where the monied interests will continue to press for maximum return on their investments, I wish to be a voice for the rest of us,” Hobson says in the application.
Hobson says he would bring the perspective of a chef, a bicyclist, an outdoors lover and a “citizen concerned for his fellow citizens. And an optimist living in trying times.”
Alex Butwinski lives on Venus Court, has lived in Park City for 19 years and served one term on the City Council ending after he lost a re-election bid in 2013. He says in the application he remains “committed to the future of Park City” and he supports City Hall priorities.
“As a former Council Member I understand the processes of government, the elements of the private sector that can be adopted in government and the necessity to involve the community in creating that future,” Butwinski says in the application.
He notes he has followed the discussions about Treasure and that a proposed arts and culture district “will contribute greatly to our identity.”
Butwinski says his term on the City Council included work on budgeting as well as casting votes on the project that was built as the Utah Film Studios and the Park City Heights development. He considers the votes to be decisive. Butwinski “voted to approve the movie studio to resolve a difficult jurisdictional dispute despite broad negative public opinion,” he says. The Park City Heights vote, meanwhile, “was unpopular but took a forward look at a component of our affordable housing needs,” the Butwinski application says.
Ron Butkovich lives on Woodside Avenue and has lived in Park City for 26 years. Butkovich has for years been active in historic-district issues, served on City Hall’s Old Town panel and has been a member of the leadership of the Park City Museum.
“This is a crucial time in our community with new ownership of both resorts, expansive development on the horizon, and ever-increasing traffic and population,” Butkovich says in the application.
Butkovich says in the application he served two terms on the Park City Historic District Commission as design guidelines and a City Hall inventory of historic properties were addressed.
He says he is a third-generation Park City resident as well as a longtime Old Town dweller and homeowner, “all of which gives me historic perspective as well as up-to-date knowledge of the issues.”
He notes he owns a small business and has experience as a leader on boards and commissions.
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A majority of the people in the Park City Future Summit crowd recently indicated they were willing to pay more in property taxes to support City Hall’s housing efforts.