City Hall partners with census |

City Hall partners with census

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Park City Council recently endorsed a partnership with federal census takers, saying that City Hall supports the goals of the U.S. Census Bureau and encourages Parkites to participate in the once-a-decade head count.

The City Council approved a resolution concerning the April 1 census. The resolution calls for a partnership between City Hall and the Census Bureau. It calls for backing from the local government rather than City Hall taking on a formalized role in the counting.

The resolution says City Hall is "committed to ensuring every resident is counted." It also says a "united voice" that includes the government, businesspeople, community groups, religious organizations, teachers and the media could "spark positive conversations about the 2010 Census."

The elected officials pledged to distribute information about the census, ask Parkites to "work together to achieve an accurate and complete count."

In a report submitted to Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council with the resolution, city staffers indicated that the partnership encourages City Hall to be "creative in reaching out to potentially hard-to-count sectors of the community." The report said the staffers created a committee of volunteers to assist in the count of those sectors.

The elected officials met briefly with Census Bureau staffers assigned to Utah at a recent meeting. City Councilman Joe Kernan inquired whether the counting is more challenging in a place like Park City. A Census Bureau official acknowledged there are many vacation homes in the Park City area, but he said the counters tally people where they spend most of their time.

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The census results are used in wide-ranging decisions such as how Statehouse and congressional districts are drawn and how federal and state funding is divvied up between communities.

In 2000, the Census Bureau counted 29,736 people in Summit County. The Census Bureau in 2008 estimated that the population of the county had grown to 36,100, a 21 percent increase since 2000. Population growth in the county has slowed considerably since the decade between the 1990 and 2000 head counts, when the population of the county climbed by more than 90 percent.

Census Bureau officials distributed information during the Sundance Film Festival and they have been touting what they see as the simplicity of the form that will be used this year.