Deer Valley man who sought mayor’s office, others consider Park City Council campaigns￼
There is interest in the City Hall election this year months before the contest officially begins
There is early interest in the Park City Council election slated for later this year, including from someone who unsuccessfully sought the mayor’s office two years ago.
City Hall on Tuesday held an event designed to provide information about the mechanics of the election. The gathering at the Marsac Building drew approximately 10 people. Four of the attendees in interviews said they are considering mounting a campaign for the City Council. None of the four, though, committed to becoming a candidate.
David Dobkin, a Deer Valley resident who campaigned in the mayoral contest in 2021, said people are asking him to run for the City Council this year. He said he is contemplating becoming a City Council candidate and plans to make a decision within several weeks. Dobkin also unsuccessfully sought an appointment to a partial City Council term as Nann Worel ascended to the mayor’s office in 2022, requiring her to leave her City Council seat midterm.
Daniel Lewis, an Old Town resident who is an event organizer and producer in addition to work in the not-for-profit sector, said he is weighing a campaign. It would be his third bid for the City Council. Lewis expects he will make a decision about the campaign in the two weeks before candidate paperwork must be filed in early June.
Jody Whitesides, a musician who lives in Old Town, said he is “strongly considering” a City Council campaign. If Whitesides seeks office, he said, campaign issues could include building codes and improved access to the internet in the community through fiber optics. He also described himself as a supporter of expanded pickleball opportunities in Park City.
Bob Sertner, an upper Deer Valley resident, is another potential City Council candidate. He said he is frustrated with what he sees as a divisive national political dialogue. A spot on the City Council could offer an opportunity to start to change the discussion beginning on the local level, he added.
There are three City Council seats on the ballot in November, now held by Becca Gerber, Max Doilney and Ryan Dickey, who was appointed midterm to succeed Worel. Dickey has said he will seek a full first term while Gerber and Doilney have not announced their intentions.
A panel of speakers on Tuesday provided details about the mechanics of the election and the experience of serving as a member of the City Council.
Tana Toly, a first-term city councilor, provided some of the notable information for those considering a campaign. In March, she said, she expected to spend up to 150 hours on work related to her post on the City Council. Of that total, approximately 110 hours were needed for City Council meetings, attendance at other events and meetings with individuals or groups. Another 30 to 40 hours were required in March to research issues before the City Council and read the City Hall-issued packets compiled before each City Council meeting. She said, though, March is usually an especially busy month for the elected officials.
Toly said Parkites will realize if a city councilor was putting in the “bare minimum” amount of work.
“It’s what you make of it,” she said.
The election this year will likely center on long-running Park City issues like growth and traffic, which continue to upset large numbers of Parkites. Other topics such as the local economy, transportation and the relationship between the tourism industry and the wider community will also likely be stressed during the campaign.
If more than six people compete for a City Council seat, a primary would be held in August to reduce the field to six for Election Day in November.
More information about the upcoming election, including a Candidate Information Packet, is available on the City Hall website, http://www.parkcity.org. The direct link is: https://www.parkcity.org/government/election-information.
Park City Council contest draws nine, some with established names and others with political newcomer status
The period when candidates needed to file campaign paperwork closed on Wednesday. There was not a rush of interest in the final hours, but the field is an intriguing one nonetheless.
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