Olch: there’s been missteps at City Hall
Mayoral candidate Brad Olch, bidding to recapture City Hall’s top position after eight years out of office, drew on stark contrasts between himself and incumbent Dana Williams during a campaign event on Wednesday, telling his supporters there has been a series of missteps during the Williams administration.
Olch, who served three terms immediately preceding the two terms Williams has been in office, was especially critical of an ongoing, consultant-led City Hall exercise to chart a course for Park City’s future, dubbed ‘Vision Park City.’ He said the exercise has cost "a lot of money," but there has been little produced from the efforts.
"I’m still waiting to see what the results are," Olch said during the event, held at Yellow Snow Ice Cream and Coffee in Prospector, adding, "I don’t know what they’re doing."
Meanwhile, he said, City Hall should again hire someone to serve as a community development director, a high-ranking position that would likely be assigned to long-range growth issues. Such a position existed during Olch’s time as the mayor, but it was eliminated as part of a restructuring of the government soon after he left office. He said the restructuring, which gave wider powers to rank-and-file workers, is better suited for the private sector.
"They’ve been processing for a long time. We really haven’t done any future planning," Olch said. "They’ve missed that."
Olch said he prefers someone be hired as a community development director instead of as an assistant city manager, a position that City Hall is preparing to fill.
Approximately 40 people attended the event at the ice-cream shop, held a week after Williams staged a similar gathering at the Wasatch Brew Pub. While Williams gave an address at the Brew Pub covering numerous City Hall issues, Olch spent most of the time talking to people on an individual basis or in small groups as they arrived.
Olch is one of four people competing in the mayoral primary alongside Williams, Diania Turner and R. Dan Portwood. The two top finishers will advance to Election Day in November.
Olch offered a summary of his public service, discussing his role in preparing for the 2002 Winter Olympics, said a changing climate is of concern, declared that senior citizen housing should be built through a public-private partnership and said the offseason should be marketed more.
"We can do a better job," he said.
Olch said some of his supporters this year once were in the Williams camp, and they approached him more than two years ago wondering if he would mount another campaign. Some of the people talking to him were a surprise, he said.
"I had people call me and urge me to run who in the past would have voted for Attila the Hun before me," Olch said.
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The Park City Planning Commission held a lengthy meeting about a development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort, centering the discussion on traffic and transportation.