Lynn Ware Peek opts against running for a full Park City Council term
Park City Councilor Lynn Ware Peek, serving the partial term vacated by Andy Beerman after his mayoral election, said on Wednesday she will not seek a full City Council term in this year’s election.
The decision creates at least one City Council spot on the ballot without an incumbent challenging for the seat. There are three seats on the ballot in 2019, now held by Ware Peek, Nann Worel and Becca Gerber. Worel has said she will seek reelection while Gerber has indicated she would make her decision public shortly.
In a statement provided to The Park Record on Wednesday, Ware Peek said she was preparing to campaign for a full term this year before issues arose. Ware Peek and her husband own a building close to the location where City Hall plans to develop an arts and culture district, an interest that she said would cause her to recuse herself from those discussions.
She said elected and appointed officials regularly remove themselves from discussions about topics in which they could have a perceived conflict of interest.
“That shouldn’t dictate whether one decides to run or not. But I believe perhaps someone else who could be present during all those discussions could better serve the community,” Ware Peek said.
She said the district “was merely a concept when I was appointed, but in recent months it has become clear that this project is moving ahead immediately.”
“Although I could choose NOT to recuse myself — I prefer to err on the side of caution for my own wellbeing and that of the community,” Ware Peek said.
She also addressed her role at the public radio station KPCW, which covers the municipal government as a significant part of its news programming. She has two shows on the radio station — Cool Science Radio and The Mountain Life. Ware Peek said the management at the radio station “informed me recently that should I decide to run for elected office, not only would I have to be off-air during the campaign, but I would not be allowed to be on air in the future as an elected official.” She said she did not want to leave the position at the radio station.
“Were there not both of these compelling considerations facing me at the same time, I may go ahead and run, but after much thought and deliberation — the scales were slightly tipped,” Ware Peek said.
Ware Peek’s tenure at the radio station predates her appointment as a City Councilor. She also was a Marsac Building staffer prior to the City Council appointment. She left the municipal staff position prior to her swearing-in as a City Councilor.
Ware Peek has lived in Park City or the Snyderville Basin for longer than 30 years. She was selected for the City Council post from a field of 15. Her term on the City Council ends in early January, when the winners on Election Day will take office. Ware Peek will have served nearly two years by the time the term expires.
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Park City recently detailed the efforts to fill a range of vacant municipal posts in 2018 and 2019 as officials described the challenges City Hall has encountered in its hiring amid a hot economy.