Mayor Shauna Kerr: how does that sound?
Shauna Kerr, the firecracker politician who has held elected office in Park City and Summit County, said on Monday she is considering a campaign for the mayor’s office in 2009.
In an interview with The Park Record, Kerr did not commit to a campaign, but her interest is an early indication that next year’s contest could be a return to competitive politics four years after Dana Williams ran unopposed as he won a second term as the mayor. She said community service is "in my blood" and it is "fun to be involved in things."
Kerr served on the Park City Council from early 1994 until early 2001, when she left Park City politics after winning a seat on the Summit County Commission. She served one four-year term before not running for re-election to the County Commission. Kerr was a City Hall attorney before winning elected office.
Kerr, who is a Democrat, had been seen in the 1990s as having the potential of being a formidable candidate for the mayor’s office in that era. Since leaving the City Council, though, Kerr has not been a major player in Park City politics, even as she has kept name recognition few in the city can match.
Williams has not indicated whether he will seek re-election to a third term. Candidates cannot file formal papers until next summer. Nobody else has publicized their interest in the mayor’s office. Kerr said she will likely not decide whether she will be a candidate until next year.
The City Council seats held by Jim Hier and Roger Harlan are also on the 2009 ballot. They have not said whether they will seek re election.
Kerr, who is in her 50s, lives in Park Meadows. She has lived in Park City since 1989. Since re-entering the private sector, Kerr has worked for a land-conservation group and she is currently a consultant in Cache County, which is considering an open-space ballot measure.
As a Park City Councilor, Kerr displayed an independent streak. She was a fierce critic of 2002 Winter Olympic organizers in the period before the bribery scandal and she cast the sole ‘Nay’ vote when Park City annexed the land where Deer Crest was built.
Kerr said the 2009 mayoral campaign should stress the idea of sustainability, a theory championed by Williams and other Park City officials that is rooted in reducing a community’s impact on the environment.
Meanwhile, Kerr said she has observed that "morale is really low" at City Hall, explaining that the significant personnel changes recently have been difficult on rank-and-file workers. Kerr said, though, talented people remain at City Hall.
She said people who work for the local government in recent weeks have encouraged her to seek the mayor’s office.
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Park City intends to soon seat an internal task force that will study issues within the municipal government itself related to the LGBTQ community.