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Editorial

Endorsements: Erickson, Taylor and Simpson; 'Yes' on Walkability; 'No' on vouchers

There is no doubt that Park City property owners heft a heavy tax burden, much of it levied voluntarily. Over the years they have approved bonds for a library, a recreation center, an ice rink, open space and trail development amenities enjoyed not only by Parkites but by surrounding residents and tourists too. Now they are being asked to OK another hike, this time for sidewalks and crossing bridges or tunnels for pedestrians.

We are hoping they will say ‘yes’ again.

The proposed Walkability bond on this Tuesday’s ballot would raise $15 million for improving pedestrian routes in the city.

With alarming increases in traffic throughout the city and growing awareness about the harmful effects of auto emissions, approval of the Walkability Bond’ will likely generate big dividends in the form of pedestrian safety, air quality and general quality of life in the future.

On Tuesday, Park City residents will also select three council members from a field of six candidates. The Park Record applauds all who filed to run for an office that typically provides more headaches than rewards. That said, among the candidates three stand out as dynamic leaders. Incumbent Candy Erickson has offered an articulate well-informed voice on the council over the last eight years and would provide valuable continuity if reelected. Bruce Taylor, during his tenure on the Snyderville Planning Commission, demonstrated an ability to craft a consensus among differing points of view an important political skill — and has promised to continue the city’s campaign to conserve energy and natural resources. As a Main Street business owner Liza Simpson, with her extensive experience on local advisory boards and nonprofits, also would bring an important perspective to the council.

Park City voters aren’t the only ones who need to go to the polls on Tuesday. Residents in Coalville, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Francis will also be picking council members who will make pivotal decisions for their towns. With development pressures mounting on the east side of the county, constituents should not be shy about confronting the candidates about their personal agendas before casting their ballots.

Finally, we would urge every Summit County citizen, even those who live in unincorporated areas, to vote against Referendum 1, a precedent-setting proposal to use state monies for private-school scholarships.

Arguments for and against the school voucher bill are full of unknowns, most notably questions about the constitutionality of giving public tax money to religious institutions. And while the precise fiscal impact on local school districts is unclear, the bill has the potential drain the state’s general fund by millions of dollars.

Many citizens are frustrated with the quality of Utah’s public education system but subsidizing private schools is not the answer.

For information about where to vote on Tuesday, log on to Summit County’s Web site, http://www.co.summit.ut.us/


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