County Council member Robinson, Rep. Powell will seek re-election
March 7, 2014
County Council member Chris Robinson (D) and Utah State Rep. Kraig Powell (R) both told The Park Record this week that they will seek re-election. Both of their seats up for re-election this November.
Robinson was named as the new Chair of the County Council during Wednesday’s meeting, replacing former Chair Claudia McMullin, who continues to serve on the Council. Kim Carson was named Vice Chair. Robinson cited "unfinished business" as one of his main impetuses for seeking re-election.
Dave Ure (R), the other County Council member whose seat is up for re-election in November, said he wanted to take a week or so before he announces his decision.
Robinson said, "The things I feel I’ve had the biggest contribution in are our open space acquisitions and helping to work out and exchange with Park City Municipal to basically stretch our open space bond funds as far as they could go and result in some great open space."
Another issue Robinson was proud to have played a role in was helping to get the Western Summit County Master Agreement signed, which made the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District the main provider of water to the West Side.
"We resolved a lot of long-standing litigation where a lot of money was spent fighting each other. We put together a cooperative agreement," Robinson said. "The [Snyderville] Basin, for the foreseeable future, will never lack for water."
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As far as goals he would like to accomplish, Robinson said he is much in line with Council member Roger Armstrong’s three areas of focus: sustainability, transportation and economic diversity and development.
On transportation, Robinson said, "How we’re going to deal with more people here and do it in a way that doesn’t pollute our air any more than it is [is important]." Robinson also serves on the Executive Committee of the Wasatch Summit, a regional, collaborative effort to address transportation, environmental and growth issues in the Wasatch Mountains and wants to continue working on those issues.
On sustainability, Robinson said he would like to continue to improve Summit Community Solar as well as converting more of the county’s automotive fleet to compressed natural gas. He would also like to see changes that would allow county residents to be able to purchase renewable energy.
Renewable energy is also an issue that Rep. Kraig Powell is working on with the Summit County and Park City councils. Powell, who serves Utah’s 54th District, said he has enjoyed the relationships he has fostered with Summit and Wasatch Counties and looks forward to accomplishing more.
Focusing on renewable energy, Powell said he is in conversations with the County on introducing "energy choice" legislation that would allow utility customers to receive actual renewable energy by using the city or county as their large purchaser.
The system would be similar in nature to a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) system made popular in places like Marin County, Calif., but Powell said they may draft the legislation differently and add other components to the system. He said they are currently in talks with regulatory agencies and state legislators on the matter.
Powell also noted his work on pursuing state liquor law reforms. He said he has been very involved with Park City restaurateurs and the Utah Restaurant Association to help give clarity and simplicity to restaurant owners in complying with state liquor laws.
Powell and Robinson both said they look forward to serving another term in their respective political bodies.
"It’s been a very educating and rewarding five years," Robinson said. "I’ve enjoyed it and I think I’ve added some value [to the Council] and would like to continue."
"I think [this district] is a nice fit for my skills and interests. I’ve enjoyed this new district and getting to know a lot of the people in the Park City area," Powell said.