Erickson wants a third term | ParkRecord.com

Erickson wants a third term

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Veteran Park City Councilwoman Candy Erickson, urging City Hall to continue its post-Winter Olympic efforts to improve the neighborhoods, says she will run for re-election.

Erickson, who was elected in 1999 and easily won a second term in 2003, says her campaign will stress a range of issues, especially trying to make Park City safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and others not riding in vehicles.

"My feelings about the town haven’t changed. I still want to be a part," Erickson says.

Erickson has been a popular City Councilor since taking office in 2000, after a tough 1999 campaign in which voters put into office three new members, including Erickson. She is seen as a moderate.

She says the pedestrian and bicycling efforts, which officials frequently refer to as ‘walkability,’ are important to many types of Parkites. She says younger people are riding bicycles more often as a way to get around the city and older people use pathways and trails for exercise.

"It really crosses all boundaries. If I build it for the people who live here, it can be a huge amenity for the tourists," Erickson says.

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City Councilors earlier funded a wide-ranging study of pedestrian habits in Park City and a consultant has compiled a diverse list of upgrades meant to make the city friendlier to people not driving cars.

Erickson and the other elected officials are expected to consider details and set aside money for some of the upgrades during this spring’s budget talks. But much of the work would be done during the next City Council term, not the current one.

In the next four-year City Council term, Erickson says, City Hall could possibly pursue ambitious projects related to walking and bicycling. She mentions, perhaps, a pedestrian and bicycling tunnel underneath S.R. 248, a road that Parkites worry about and one that has perplexed city officials for years. Erickson says she is crafting ideas to pay for the upgrades but she does not provide details.

Erickson says City Hall’s recreation programs and facilities will be a campaign plank. She says she is unsure if she supports the local government asking voters to approve a recreation bond, though.

Erickson is 51 years old and lives in Park Meadows. She has lived in Park City since 1983. She works at Cole Sport and is Park City Mountain Resort’s snow reporter. She was successfully treated for colon cancer in 2006 and she says she is healthy.

She is pleased with the work the city has undertaken since the 2002 Winter Olympics, when about half of the competitions were held in the Park City area. Since then, she says, City Hall has improved neighborhoods, for instance, with street upgrades. Much of that sort of work had been set aside as officials prepared for the Games.

"Let’s give it back to the people who live here," she says. "And that’s still my focus."

Erickson hopes the campaign costs less than $1,800. She plans to start campaigning immediately by talking to regular Parkites.

There has been little hubbub about the upcoming City Council election. Joe Kernan, another incumbent, has said he will seek re-election. Marianne Cone, whose City Council seat also is on the ballot, has not said publicly whether she will run. Nobody besides Erickson and Kernan has declared themselves a candidate.

The filing window runs July 1-15. It is two weeks shorter and a little earlier than before as a result of changes made by the Legislature. If more than six people file papers for the City Council spots, a primary would be held on Sept. 11, earlier than past years. Election day is Nov. 6.

Campaign 2007 is not expected to be a barnburner and the last two municipal elections, in 2005 and 2003, lacked the contention of those of the 1990s and that of 2001, one of the most bitter in the city’s modern era.

The candidates will likely address issues like Old Town’s future, traffic, environmentalism and affordable housing, stalwarts of City Hall campaigns since the 1980s.