Cone won’t seek re-election |

Cone won’t seek re-election

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Marianne Cone, a first-term Park City Councilwoman, will not seek re-election this fall, probably leaving one of the three slots on the 2007 ballot without an incumbent competing the position.

Cone on Monday morning made public her decision not to campaign for a second term on the City Council. She is the last of the three incumbents to decide, with Candy Erickson and Joe Kernan previously saying they would seek re-election, Erickson to a third term and Kernan to a second.

Meanwhile, Kernan and Liza Simpson Monday morning filed candidate papers at City Hall. Both had previously said they would run. Monday was the first day candidates could file papers. The window closes July 16.

Cone, who is 63 years old and lives in Old Town, says she wants to spend more time with her husband, David Chaplin, who is 70 years old and a member of the Park City School Board.

"We ought to be playing. It’s hard to find even four days together," Cone says.

Her decision is not shocking and there was speculation beforehand she would not seek a second term. But Cone waited until well after the other two incumbents on the ballot announced their re-election bids.

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Cone, who is an artist, says serving on the City Council takes lots of time and she explains the elected officials regularly handle official duties outside the time they are at weekly City Council meetings.

Cone estimates she spends about 20 hours each week on official duties and says City Hall business comes up at least every few days.

"It’s a huge commitment. The people running need to know this group (of elected officials) is not going to sit back and let you do nothing," Cone says, hoping Old Town, Park City’s most politically charged neighborhood, is well represented during the campaign.

Meanwhile, Cone says she wants to spend the rest of her term, which ends in January, pursuing an agenda that includes senior-citizen issues and making Park City safer for people not driving cars.

Cone says she wants to enliven Park City for seniors, perhaps through a partnership with Summit County officials. She wants more activities at the senior center in Park City.

She talks about pedestrian and bicyclist safety, which Parkites have pressed City Hall to improve. She wants signs installed informing drivers they face fines if they do not stop for people in crosswalks. Cone also wants Park City police officers to better enforce crosswalk rules.

"I’m going to work really hard the next six months," Cone says.

Kernan in January said he would seek re-election and he has said his campaign will stress making City Hall run more efficiently and long-range financial planning. He has also been interested in snowplowing priorities and recently talked about the prospects of building a tunnel on Park City’s eastern entryway as a method to reduce traffic on Kearns Boulevard.

When she announced her candidacy in June, Simpson said she is pleased with City Hall’s performance but she wants to reduce traffic and build affordable housing.

People who want to run must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by Election Day, a resident of Park City for at least 12 consecutive months before Election Day and a registered voter in the city.