Does input even matter to Utah leaders? ‘Absolutely,’ Park City’s legislator says in advance of public event
Does input from the public really matter to Utah leaders?
The legislator who represents Park City at the Statehouse has an easy answer.
“Absolutely,” said Tim Quinn, a Republican from the Heber City area who is the representative in District 54 of the state House of Representatives.
Quinn’s district essentially stretches from Park City to Heber City. He is more popular in the Heber City area, maintaining the seat in 2018 with the support from voters in Wasatch County.
Quinn is one of the legislators who is scheduled to appear in Park City on Thursday for an event designed to provide information about communications between legislators and constituents. A Park City-based not-for-profit organization called Action Utah will host the event.
The five legislators who make up the Summit County delegation at the Statehouse are scheduled to attend. It will be a rare opportunity for a crowd to hear from the entire delegation at once since the legislative districts that cover portions of Summit County stretch through a wide swath of the state, from Roosevelt, to North Ogden and to Salt Lake City.
“Most legislators like to hear from and appreciate hearing from their constituents,” Quinn said.
Quinn said in an interview public input is critical to the legislative process, describing the input as influencing many bills. He pointed to a Park City issue at the Statehouse as an example of the influence of public input. City Hall bans razor-thin plastic bags as part of the municipal government’s wide-ranging environmental programs, a prohibition that has been unsuccessfully challenged at the Capitol.
Quinn said input from people in Park City increased his motivation to oppose the legislative effort to overturn the City Hall ban.
“Not only did I oppose the ban on the ban, I led the fight against it,” Quinn said, crediting the public input for helping shape his opinion.
Quinn also said input from the Park City government and rank-and-file Parkites influenced his decision to support and cosponsor a bill that makes it more cost effective to opt to use renewable energies.
“It’s helpful to hear from a varied group,” Quinn said. “It could shape how I feel on an issue.”
The other legislators who are scheduled to appear are:
• Rep. Logan Wilde, a Republican from Croydon
• Rep. Brian King, a Democrat from Salt Lake City
• Sen. Allen Christensen, a Republican from North Ogden
• Sen. Ron Winterton, a Republican from Roosevelt
Park City officials, leaders at the County Courthouse and the Park City School District closely track the work of the Legislature since the state government has broad powers over crucial issues like taxes, transportation and commerce. The broader population has long been also interested in Statehouse topics like liquor laws and education funding. The current makeup of the delegation, though, does not include someone from Park City or surrounding Summit County, putting distance between the senators and representatives and the local constituency.
Andrea Himoff, the executive director of Action Utah and one of the organization’s founders, said the legislators will be provided time to discuss their priorities and a question-and-answer session with the audience is planned. She said the event on Thursday was scheduled months prior to the January start of the annual legislative session.
“They have more time for constituents before the legislative session begins,” she said, adding the legislators are also in the process of developing plans for the session in 2020.
The event is scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Community Room on the third floor of the Park City Library starting at 6 p.m. For more information, contact email@example.com. Information is also available at actionutah.org orfacebook.com/ActionUtah.
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The Project for Deeper Understanding on Tuesday seeks to start a dialogue among local leaders.