Letters to the Editor
October 15, 2008
Tom Hurd is running for seat C of the Summit County Council. I’m supporting him and here’s why:
Tom Hurd will approach running the county as the business it actually is, without emotion but rationally with special regard to fiscal expenditures. Public debt is not unlike personal debt. Debt’s stranglehold can lead to increased taxes or even bankruptcy. Remember Orange County.
Expenses for county business as salaries, insurance, pensions, equipment, maintenance, fuel are on going and essential. The successful in any endeavor do not overspend. An example of county overspending is bonding for non essentials. Bonding mortgages the future and should be used only with great care. It is instant gratification whose ultimate cost can be 30% or greater at end of the bonding period.
There is a public process, a ballot initiative, for citizens to place a bond on a ballot — not having three or five people who are really only citizens do so without the effort of that process.
This happens too much and it is serious and it worries me.
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Tom Hurd will not facilitate mortgaging the county’s future which is our own future.
Vote for Tom Hurd for fiscal restraint.
McMullin would honor entire county
Claudia McMullin is unequivocally the best candidate for Summit County Council, Seat B. McMullin strives to unify and represent the greater good of the east and west side of the county through collaboratively honoring the interests and needs of the entire county.
McMullin and I met seven years ago through the Leadership Park City program. I am confident in Claudia’s diligent, forthright and intelligent representation. She is dedicated and passionate about our Summit County community.
McMullin has proven herself as an approachable and engaging member of the Summit County community. She is positive and caring, while exercising thoughtful, balanced decision-making.
McMullin has experience with managed growth, traffic improvements, property rights, open space, recycling/alternative energy, and affordable and senior housing — through her extensive experience as private attorney and while serving as a Snyderville Basin planning commissioner (currently the chair).
Addressing the new design of our county government and placing our votes: Voters should know they may and should vote for one candidate for each of the respective A, B, C, D and E seats, for a total of 5 candidates (A through C are four-year terms, with D and E as two-year terms).
Exercise your voice and get to the polls on Tuesday, November 4 (or through early or absentee voting).
Please vote, for Seat B County Council, Claudia McMullin.
Express your opinion and vote!
A gracious leader and visionary
On Election Day, as Summit County’s government is changing to a five-person council with a county manager, Sally Elliott is the one serving Summit County commissioner to run for election to the county council.
Sally sees the strengths of others, inside government and in the private sector, and she finds ways to bring these workers and experts together to serve the people of Summit County. Neither a person’s party affiliation nor hometown is a factor for Sally’s choice of collaborators.
Sally does not shy away from difficult issues. Yet somehow, working with Sally seems to be the most direct and obvious route to a just, straightforward and harmonious solution to make life better in this diverse county.
Sally Elliott is a gracious leader and visionary. You owe it to yourself and to your neighbors to continue Sally’s service in your county government.
Vote Sally Elliott for Summit County Council seat A.
What can Brown do for Brown?
Glen Wright is right (letter to the editor, Park Record, Oct. 11), but leaves out some important information. Mel Brown not only sponsored HB 466, but he spearheaded an effort to incorporate the Hoytsville area (47 square miles) before HB 164, the amended bill, could be passed into law: a conflict of interest he would have directly benefited financially from. If you Google "Mel Brown Utah" you can read more on his storied past and come to your own conclusion. I find the "Mormon News" article especially interesting.
Please vote on November 4th.
No tumbleweeds at Promontory
Comments like Mr. Woolstenhume’s (Park Record, Oct. 11) are very misleading, as was the story on KSL news in the last week that implied a similar message. Prices in Promontory certainly are not down 50%.
In 2007 there were 51 home sales in Promontory, average price of $2,065,000, and a price per square foot of $549. In 2008, there have been 7 sales, average price of $2,373,400, and $473 per square foot.
On a pure price standpoint, prices in 2008 have increased 15% over 2007. On a price per square foot basis, they have declined just under 14%.
Sales have slowed to a trickle, yet to have such a dramatic slowdown in sales volume result in sales prices down less than 14% (per foot) during a national housing recession, and the involuntary bankruptcy of the development, underscores the relative strength of the Park City high-end marketplace. To read and see the stories reported, one would think Promontory is a ghost town with "For Sale" signs rotting off their posts as tumbleweed blows by, an abandoned algae-infested clubhouse pool, and weed-infested golf courses. Nothing could be further from reality.
If and for how long this relative price stability lasts remains locked in a crystal ball, but for now, the marketplace here has remained very resilient, with prices in many neighborhoods actually increasing the past 18 months. Park City real estate in general continues to suffer remarkably less than most other areas in the U.S.
Want balance? Hurd will carry own weight
As a resident of Park City for 19 years, I would like to commend and recommend Tom Hurd for County Council Seat C. Tom was on the Historic District Commission when I owned several rental houses as well as my own residence in Old Town. He was always involved in local issues and not afraid to speak out honestly on any issue. Tom researched and studied all issues from every side. He is well educated and articulate and wants to save us all tax dollars and not increase spending when money is getting so tight for everyone! Voters want balance? How about Tom Hurd, who will not sit on the same side of the see-saw with everybody else just to get along.
Pete’s picks for County Council
In these uncertain times, it is reassuring to know there are strong, experienced, visionary leaders who are ready, willing and able to serve the diverse public interests in Summit County. I am supporting four such candidates for the newly forming County Council.
Sally Elliott, Claudia McMullin, John Hanrahan and Chris Robinson have each in their own way demonstrated selfless leadership and the ability to think independently on issues regardless of the influence of powerful special interests that may be adverse to the public good. Their courage, intelligence, understanding and integrity are essential qualities for plotting a course for Summit County that balances the many concerns represented here.
I encourage anyone interested in the future quality of life and economic vitality of Summit County to vote this election. I hope you will join me in supporting these dedicated citizens in their election bid.
Lofft understands our issues
Utah needs the wise counsel of Kathy Lofft as our District 53 legislative representative. Since moving to Park City more than four years ago, I have had the pleasure of knowing Kathy Lofft, first as friends with common interests, and, more recently, as co-founders and co-chairs of the Park City Chapter of Utah Moms for Clean Air. I am tremendously impressed by her strong work ethic, her dedication to community service as seen by her involvement in organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, and her charitable support for the Park City Film Series, Kimball Arts Center and Summit County Friends of Animals.
As co-founders and co-chairs of the Park City Chapter of Utah Moms for Clean Air, she and I have worked closely together defining the goals of our chapter, expanding our membership from two founders to more than 100 members in eight months, and generating community support for our initial projects. She is incredibly well organized, with a strong grasp of many environmental issues, especially those relevant to our specific projects. She is an excellent speaker who understands the fine points of a particular topic, like air quality issues, and then clearly explains the information to our membership. She and I have worked closely with local officials, and I have observed her expertise in facilitating a dialogue between groups with differing points of view.
As a volunteer and supporter of her campaign, I have seen the efforts she has made to reach out to district voters across party lines, evidenced, in particular, by her walking campaigns through most counties of District 53. She has participated in numerous candidate forums, listening to her prospective constituents in order to understand their views. She has an excellent grasp of the issues not only through careful research, but also because of this strong belief in the importance of communicating with all of the voters, not just her supporters.
District 53 includes areas as diverse as Morgan, Daggett and Wasatch counties, in addition to Summit County. We need a legislator who will listen to and support the issues important to the voters of Park City. Please join me in voting for Kathy Lofft on November 4th.
Elect a guy who can keep his cool
I have known John Hanrahan almost the entire time I’ve lived in Park City. I first became acquainted with him as a doctor at the clinic; however, the place I really got to know him was at the Park City Follies. One year, back in the infancy of the Follies, John signed on as an actor. As anyone who’s ever been involved with the Follies knows, it’s chaos up until the moment it opens, and then somehow it comes together. In the midst of all that chaos, John always kept focused with a sense of humor. He listened to direction, but also offered appropriate suggestions at just the right moments. As a newbie who came into the Follies cold, he had to interact with personalities that ranged from high-strung professional artists to mellow ski bums to type A entrepreneurs to PTO moms, an eclectic mixture that neatly parallels our community.
In addition to all the good things that John had done for us over the years (Hope Alliance, People’s Heath, community doctor, just to name a few) I’ve seen firsthand how he can maintain his cool and keep a sense of humor no matter how stressful a situation might get. In a perfect world, isn’t that how we’d like all our leaders to be? Let’s not waste this opportunity to put John’s talents to good use. Please join me in voting for John Hanrahan for County Council Seat C.
Robinson knows the lay of the land
I would like to publicly support Chris Robinson for County Council Seat "D." Chris will bring a wealth of experience, talents, and enthusiasm to this office. He’s a hardworking team builder and is skilled at making connections with people, and in getting them involved and working together. These talents will be helpful as Summit County implements a new form of government with this election.
Summit County is challenged with trying to balance the needs of many seemingly opposing interests and Chris offers a uniquely qualified perspective on these issues. He himself is an expert land manager, cattle rancher, businessman, and developer. He also has considerable experience from his work with the Nature Conservancy of Utah. I can’t think of a better qualified person to help the county balance these issues to the benefit of everyone. Moreover he has a keen analytic mind with a disposition of forward thinking and a history of problem solving.
Chris is likeable and approachable. I think Chris remembers everyone he’s ever met. He can shake your hand, ask your name and in a few minutes connect you with half a dozen friends and relations you both have in common. He listens and is concerned and he’ll remember you the next time he sees you.
Chris will serve well and represent all of Summit County effectively and fairly.
What are TDRs and how are they used ?
TDRs (transfers of development rights) are used, in certain circumstances, to transfer the right to develop property from one place (the donor) to another (the receiver). It could work like this: You own 100 acres of farmland in the county which is zoned one unit per 20 acres. You might transfer that right to develop to another more densely zoned property netting perhaps 5 houses on five acres. You keep your farmland but you can no longer develop it. Likewise you might sell those rights to another party with the same result, a development elsewhere.
Since Summit County has no ordinance spelling out how TDRs can be used, sold or bartered the process is very opaque and entirely subjective. Without a TDR ordinance in place, the three-member County Commission has, without oversight, distributed, sold or allowed development rights to be transferred as pleased them.
I have not been able to determine how many TDRs the County owns or how the County obtained them but they obviously are valuable, perhaps $900000.00 to one million per unit. Go to County Commission minutes of 3/8/2006 file 57.
That the County has used TDRs for some end is made plain by Summit County Ordinance 427 Redstone Parkside dated 18 Oct. 2001, section 4.6.14 Affordable Housing as follows: "The County owned TDR density within the project is 202,280 square feet or approximately 25 percent of the total project density of 819,360. " Further, Ordinance 378 Glenwild, May 2000, (Section 4.10) refers to a "TDR Option" to transfer density according to "the County’s TDR process," a process that the County Commissioners claim does not exist. Likewise Ordinance 631, August 2007, The Preserve, Section 5 refers to transfer of density to other projects.
My questions are: How did the county obtain this density to transfer and what did it pay for it? How much density is still in the "bank" and available for transfer to other developers? How much did density transfers contribute to congestion at Kimball Junction? Is this process administered evenhandedly or is there favoritism? I think the public has a right to know.
For a more in-depth discussion of TDR’s follow this link: government.cce.cornell.edu/doc/html/Transfer%20of%20Development%20Righ…