Guest opinion: Andy Beerman embodies what it is to be a leader |

Guest opinion: Andy Beerman embodies what it is to be a leader

Andrew Caplan
Park City Board of Education

Note: This editorial represents my views as a private individual rather than as a representative of the Park City Board of Education.

Public service is a job of passion and nowhere is this more true than in Park City. Our elected leaders at the city and county largely do so for free or for minimal pay with full-time positions like mayor compensated at $45,000 a year (which is far below a living wage in our community). Members of the City Council, which is in theory part time, gets $23,000 and a whole lot of grief for their trouble.

Elected leaders serve not for money but because they love our community and want to better our way of life, which is already extraordinarily high for most. In knowing many of the players here personally I can say with confidence that while some may equal his passion, there is no one that loves this community MORE than Andy Beerman.

We have such a high quality of life and are so fortunate that it is sometimes easy to forget what a good job our elected leaders do and instead focus on personal issues or make mountains out of molehills while forgetting the bigger picture and history of service. The past four years has been one incredible period culminating with the largest health crisis that our community has ever seen.

As a community that despite its recent growth still relies heavily on tourist-related tax revenue, a year-and-a-half-long shutdown could have been catastrophic. Instead the community rallied around solid leadership from both the county and city and not only survived but thrived. Regional partnerships were focused on and state and federal funding came our way largely due to leadership of our councils and of course our mayor.

Service in Park City is not thankless. When we wake up every morning and see the mountains and see the smiles on people’s faces going for runs or rides or when we see our fellow residents in the post office who know us by our name, we are reminded that working for our community is worth it. This is a special place and we are all blessed to live here.

Every so often we get selfless individuals who are willing to take extreme criticism to do what’s right for our town not only for today but in the medium and long term. Currently we have one of the most upbeat and positive ambassadors imaginable in Andy. He sets the tone for our community and embodies what it is to be a leader, not once speaking ill of those who publicly criticize him. That is a demeanor and a quality that should not be lost on those of you who do not know him personally.

His and the council’s vision for planning may not suit everyone but planning rarely does and let’s be honest, open space, space for affordable housing and the arts may seem like it comes at a steep price today but often looks like a bargain in retrospect.

Andy and I don’t always agree on policy but he always listens with an open mind and is transparent in his thought process and views. He looks at decisions through an equity lens that while not always popular is always well-intentioned and necessary.

I support Andy wholeheartedly and hope that the rest of the community does as well so that we are fortunate enough to have his leadership for another four years.

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