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Mayor defends developer

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Mayor Dana Williams at a recent meeting defended developer Rory Murphy, who is bidding for a spot on the Park City Planning Commission, saying Murphy has been subjected to inappropriate words since filing his application for the panel.

Speaking during a Park City Council meeting, Williams said he is "embarrassed and saddened" by the response to Murphy’s interest in the Planning Commission.

He claimed The Park Record is partly to blame, and the mayor criticized an Oct. 10 editorial cartoon in the newspaper that used a fox in a henhouse to depict Murphy’s interest. Williams said the cartoon "fueled a lack of civility" and said "personal attacks are unwarranted and unjustified" against Murphy.

Williams did not provide details, though. He insisted Murphy is not seeking a spot on the Planning Commission to benefit his development career.

"It’s not to pad his pocketbooks," Williams said.

His comments received applause from some of the people in the City Council chambers.

Murphy is one of seven people seeking to fill a Planning Commission seat vacated by Mark Sletten. The term expires in 2009. The City Council is scheduled to interview the candidates on Nov. 1.

Williams and Murphy are longtime friends.

Murphy is the lead person on the team developing Silver Star on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort. Previously he was an executive at United Park City Mines as the mining company secured the necessary approvals to build Empire Pass, which is now under construction in Deer Valley.

"Dana and I have been close friends for 15 years. I expect us to remain close friends," Murphy says.


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