Letters to the Editor, January 9-12, 2010
Somehow, on this sad morning, it helps to write down my happy memories of Roger Harlan. He’s been a dear friend and neighbor since 1987 when he and Marilyn moved to Park City to be a part of a health and fitness organization. As I recall, the Harlans came here from Pennsylvania to work with a group that bought Prospector Fitness Center. How appropriate that he came to coordinate the spiritual well-being efforts of this group.
As so often happened in those troubled economic times, the group couldn’t pay its bills and loaded up a truck in the middle of the night, leaving Roger and Marilyn stranded with a big house and no employment — and that’s how Roger came to bring Young Life to Park City. So many young people in Park City loved Roger and Young Life. He truly was father, grandfather and friend to my daughters and hundreds of others.
In 1988, he helped me get the Prospector Park Homeowners’ Association off the ground by serving on the first board of trustees with Jerry Shane, Mark Wickstrom, Roy Tatton, Faye Ivory and Larry Spurgeon. 1990, he was president of the HOA. One gray Saturday morning, he and Marilyn, Torch and I went out with shovels and installed the new (now old) Prospector Park signs on Buffalo Bill, Comstock and Wyatt Earp.
When a vacancy occurred on the Park City Council in 1992, Rog threw his name in the hat and we chose him to fill the unexpired term. He followed up with his "baseball card" campaign and won handily at the polls. He gave us many years of devoted service as an elected official.
When Rog and Marilyn went out of town one time, they made the mistake of leaving a key with me so I could go feed their animals, of which there were always many, and in a fit of hilarity, I joined the rowdy kids at my house in toilet-papering the entire inside of their house. Got the photos to prove it.
Sad as I am at the loss of a great friend, this morning, I’ll always look out my back door at the Harlan house and smile as I remember what a good and true friend he was to all of us. We were lucky to have him with us.
Sally Elliott Park City
Thanks, Roger, for giving us so much
I have always heard there is a behavioral equation that humans will share a bad experience with 11 people while only telling 3 people about a good experience. My father taught me that in order to have a joyful life, you have to step into the fray, and not just sit on the sidelines watching.
My experience in dealing with our city council is that, individually, we can all make our community a better place. Over the years I have not hesitated in contacting council, staff and civil servants to express dissatisfaction with all array of issues. But for some reason, I have rarely contacted them to praise or commend their hard work and contributions to our community. I heard Roger Harlan and Jim Heir’s KPCW interviews over the holidays. Both gentlemen, now retiring from the City Council, have given their time, energy, intelligence and experience to serve Park City. I had a passing thought to send them an email or a card thanking them for their service and commitment and to wish them well in their pursuits. But I put it off and didn’t get to it last week. I thought about it again yesterday but didn’t quite make the time to send my letter. I heard that Roger passed away last night (Jan. 5) due to surgery complications. My condolences to Roger’s family and my regrets that I never got around to writing this letter of appreciation for his service. Thank you, Roger, for joining the fray and giving so much to our community.
With great respect,
This humble man leaves a broad legacy
A dear friend of mine and of this entire community will be sorely missed with his unexpected passing last night (Jan. 5). I am not celebrated, hold no public office and certainly possess no influence or wealth, but former City Councilman Roger Harlan was still a kind friend to me. While he visibly served our community in so many ways and for so many years, it was not the platform or position that will be so valued in this community. What this community will most miss, at least by the thousands of lives that he touched, was how he conducted the affairs of our city and his many friendships. Roger was humble, and bore no kin to ambition. He was a great listener (and talker); deliberate to a fault in his objective considerations. He was passionate about this community, always quick to ask about you. He possessed an unsurpassed level of integrity. He was a proud Christian.
This giant amongst us was an incredibly inspiring human, and yet he was very human. One morning in 2008 while leading a men’s Bible study, he remarked having missed one thing in his life. We hung on his words, awaiting the announcement of some act of selflessness; such were the lofty hopes of Roger. Instead, he announced, at the age of 72 that he had never seen Bruce Springsteen, one of his favorite artists, in concert. By the time the group met the following week, his friends in that group so loved him that they assembled a gift package that included second-row concert tickets to see the Boss in Charleston, South Carolina, roundtrip airfare and accommodations with friends of friends. Roger traveled to Charleston, making himself comfortable in the home of people that he had never met, eating barbeque and grits, and was held captive for nearly 3 hours by a deafening Springsteen. I was fortunate enough to share that bucket-list concert and many years of his company. I, for one, will be inspired by this man’s legacy and choose to honor him with my own life better lived. As sad as we all may be, I challenge the members of this community to thoughtfully consider how you might choose to honor this humble man’s broad legacy.
Tax delinquency rolls contain errors
One week ago, Summit County published its annual "tax delinquency rolls." Though the publication of the rolls is a legal requirement for the county, they constitute a misrepresentation to your readers. For those who read the lists, they would have noticed a lengthy group of Pivotal Promontory LLC properties, implying that Promontory’s developer has failed or is refusing to pay its county tax bill. In fact, Promontory, many of its members, and numerous other individuals shown on that roll have no intention of being delinquent on their county tax bills. Rather, Promontory, like so many others this last year, filed a timely appeal with the county regarding its 2009 tax bill, which has not yet been resolved. At the express recommendation of the County Assessor’s office, Promontory has deferred paying those of its 2009 tax bills which were based on incorrect 2009 assessments until the county rules on its appeal. It is important to us, our members and, I’m certain, anyone else so misrepresented, that your readers be aware of our intentions as proud members of the Park City community.
Promontory managing director
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When it comes to the U.S. census, let’s just say Park City has… room for improvement.