Letters to the Editor, September 26, 2009
September 26, 2009
To the forward-thinking residents of Park City and Summit County I would like to say thank you! The other day, as I was biking along another beautiful mountain trail, I was struck by the tremendous amount of effort the concerned citizens and elected officials have put it to preserving the environment and surrounding communities.
Being new residents to this fantastic community, we sincerely appreciate the labors of all of those who were here before us. The provisions made for open spaces, parks and trails is outstanding.
I’ve read that wealth can be measured not by what one has but by what one will not trade for money. Determined individuals with vision and creative thinking have made a lasting impact that will improve the lives of those that come after them.
We count it a blessing to live here. We commit to participate in the future planning so that we can feel like we too had a part in shaping this great community.
With heartfelt thanks,
Recommended Stories For You
Having an ice day at Park City rink
We stumbled across the Park City Figure Skating Learn-To-Skate program quite by accident — and what a fortunate accident it proved to be!
My daughter turned six the other day and her birthday was heralded in by a chorus of "Happy Birthday" from her fellow Figure Skating Club of Park City members. The girls (all older by several years) welcomed her to her first skate competition with open arms and, as it happened to fall on her birthday, they tossed a stuffed puppy onto the ice after her program was complete and sang "Happy Birthday." This behavior and spectacular display of good sportsmanship and support is indicative of all the members of the club.
I’m delighted my little girl has chosen these friendly, intelligent and well-groomed girls to look up to. Believe me — they are everything we all want our daughters to be.
If your daughters (particular the little ones) have not yet ventured on to the ice, do them and yourself a HUGE favor! Book them into the Learn-To-Skate program at the Park City Ice Arena. You can thank me later.
Silly Market serves a serious purpose
I would like to thank the Park Silly Market and the wonderful, singing Silly Women who bring this great event to us each Sunday morning. The Park Silly Sunday Market seems born from the spirit that makes Park City funky, fun, and a little bit askew. It’s the same spirit that used to bring us Clown Day and still inspires some of the best parade floats on Miners Day. How lucky we are to have these dedicated people bring this spirit to life each Sunday.
The organizers and volunteers of the Silly Market get up really early each Sunday morning to bring us this great event. They work hard to make sure we know where and how to recycle and compost when we’re there. They make sure there are adult beverages, kid-friendly activities, a host of vendors, and booths for local nonprofits. And they do all this while maintaining a wonderful sense of humor.
Like Mountain Town Music, the Park Silly Market shares its venue and its crowd with many other nonprofit organizations. This generosity is so important and valuable to groups, like the Summit Land Conservancy, which don’t generally draw large crowds. A booth at the Silly Market or at a local concert is so important to our efforts to let people know about our mission to protect local open space.
Both Mountain Town Music and The Silly Sunday Market are nonprofits too. Like all of us, they have bills to pay. I urge you to visit the final Silly Sunday Market this weekend, share the laughter, and the community spirit.
Summit Land Conservancy
Sunday was Peace Day in Park City
I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who helped make our Peace Day celebration a success. The Images of Nature Gallery was joined by the Soldier Hollow School on Sunday, September 20, at the Park Silly Sunday Market. PSSM generously provided us with a booth for kids to come by and decorate peace doves. In the afternoon three giant peace doves took flight in a parade through the Market. Plans are already under way for next year’s International Peace Day celebration. If you’d like to find out how you can be involved, contact the Images of Nature Gallery.
Burdening those who can least afford it
In discussing Park City School District employee compensation, I hope our community will not indulge in stereotypes. Not every taxpayer has two homes and leases an Audi for their 16-year-old, and not all teachers are hell-bent on getting more for doing less. For the most part, Park City’s residents support education heroically; for the most part, Park City educators provide exceptional classroom experiences by giving their best far in excess of their contract days and hours. The amazing graduates each year are proof of both of those points. I hope this arrangement persists.
In the conversations about last Tuesday’s (Sept. 15) school board decision, I hear a troubling phrase echoing as partial justification for adjusting teacher benefits: "Most teachers aren’t in it for the money." While it’s true that many of us at PCHS chose teaching over more lucrative professions in business, engineering, law, medicine or something else (and indeed, there are many in this building who could have chosen those careers), it is not true that teaching is merely a gracious hobby.
Public education is not a business, it is not a market-driven service, it does not work for a profit; rather, teachers serve the public equally and unconditionally like firefighters, police, librarians, judges, soldiers and postal workers. Our livelihood is a reflection of the values and priorities determined by political processes, not markets. Consequently, teachers do not expect compensation on par with private-sector peers. But we do expect a wage that respects our education, the technical complexity of our work, and the high stakes of our influence over the children who are our stewardship.
Historically, Park City has offered more dignified compensation than other districts in the region, and the quality of its faculty is no coincidence. Nevertheless, raising a family in (or near … or awfully far from) Summit County on a teacher’s wage is challenging at best — especially when it’s just one teacher’s wage. While reducing our "platinum-plated" health insurance to "gold-plated" coverage may sound trivial, in fact it constitutes a further pay cut, and a disadvantageous shift in the ratio of non-taxable compensation to taxable compensation, and it will cost the most to the teachers who visit the doctor the most, including those with chronic ailments and those with small children. Under the new plan, these few who can least afford it will bear a disproportionate burden of Park City’s recession experience.
Park City High School