Marsac Building will not hit ‘pause button’ with Diane Foster in charge
Diane Foster, named the interim Park City manager upon the August departure of City Manager Tom Bakaly, will only guide the Marsac Building for three months or so.
But Foster, who served as the deputy city manager under Bakaly, said early in the week she anticipates there will be significant progress at City Hall while she is leading the staffers.
Foster said in an interview staffers are prepared to press ahead even though the next permanent city manager likely will not arrive until early in 2013. She said there has been stability in the ranks, leading to a staff that understands their duties.
"We’re not hitting the pause button and waiting for a city manager to come on board," Foster said.
She noted several important issues are looming at City Hall. They include continuing to discuss the future of the lower Park Avenue corridor and ideas about the redevelopment of the Bonanza Park district, centered on Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard.
The lower Park Avenue discussions involve key players like City Hall and Park City Mountain Resort. The resort wants public assistance in building a parking garage and transit hub.
A deal would involve PCMR and a City Hall-controlled entity called the Lower Park Avenue Redevelopment Agency. The lifespan of the Redevelopment Agency, which brings in money through tax increments, would need to be extended. A meeting about a deal was scheduled Tuesday night.
A housing project for seniors could also benefit from an extension of the Redevelopment Agency.
If the Redevelopment Agency is kept intact beyond its current expiration year of 2015, Foster said, another round of discussions will be held with PCMR over the next few months.
Foster’s background includes time working for American Skiing Company, the firm that once owned Canyons Resort. She said she has a "pro-resort economy" philosophy, similar to the one held by the elected officials.
Meanwhile, Foster will also play an important role as Park City leaders consider Bonanza Park ideas. She said a crucial Park City Council meeting is scheduled in October to address Bonanza Park.
The elected officials are expected to discuss whether a power substation could be relocated, allowing more options for the redevelopment of the district. There is a possibility City Hall will subsidize the relocation.
Foster said staffers will also discuss improvements to Main Street with the mayor and City Council before the end of the year. She said the talks about Main Street will unfold regardless of the results of a sales tax-related ballot measure that could provide additional funding for improvements.
"The message from City Council has been Main Street needs a face-lift," she said.
Foster will not submit her name for the permanent position, saying she had been the deputy city manager for just six months prior to Bakaly’s departure. She earlier said she had not been in that position long enough to seek the promotion to city manager.
She said she will perform better as the deputy city manager when she returns after having served as the interim city manager. Foster said she will receive a 5 percent increase in salary while the interim city manager. The salary, though, remains in the range budgeted for her permanent position, she said.
Bakaly was the city manager for nearly a decade, ascending to the position in 2003. He left to become the city manager in Hermosa Beach, Calif. City Hall has hired a recruiting firm to assist in finding his permanent successor. The application deadline is Oct. 22.
About Diane Foster
Lives: in Tollgate Canyon close to Wanship. Lived in Park City area for 12 years
Worked at City Hall: since April 2008, when she was hired as the environmental sustainability manager. She was named the deputy city manager in spring 2012.
Spent: 22 years in the private sector, including in the high-tech industry, at American Skiing Company and at backcountry.com. Eight of the years were spent in the ski industry.
Holds: a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cambridge in Great Britain
Working on: a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.