Old Town resident, a Marsac Building supporter, caps Park City Council field
In Park City, Ed Parigian sees a town under pressure from a variety of sources.
He said he’s concerned about congested roads, a shortage of workforce housing, the influence of corporate interests, the impact of an extensive list of special events and the combined effect those issues are having on full-time residents.
Parigian, 62 and a resident of Old Town, is campaigning for a seat on the Park City Council to address the matters, filing paperwork Friday afternoon shortly before the close of the candidate filing window.
“I want the locals to regain control of this town,” said Parigian, who has lived in Park City for 13 years and is semi-retired after a career in business.
Parigian serves on the Park City Recreation Advisory Board and describes himself as a supporter of the Marsac Building agenda, saying he agrees with nearly all of the current roster of elected officials’ decisions. However, he said there are areas in which he would push for more aggressive policies aimed at assisting full-time residents.
For instance, he wants City Hall to buy one house in Old Town each year and convert it to affordable housing, supplementing the efforts to increase the housing stock for working-class residents.
“It costs a lot of money, but we just spent $64 million to preserve Treasure Hill,” he said. “… It’s tough because the city runs on a budget, and it’s not an unlimited budget, but you’ve got to think 20 years out. I’m a long-term thinker. I’d rather spend now and reap the benefits later.”
Parigian also said officials should take steps to make the Park City area less reliant on the tourism industry. He envisions a “full-year economy” that does not experience dramatic drop-offs in the shoulder seasons, though he didn’t offer specifics of how to achieve it.
Additionally, he wants to help oversee the city’s creation of an arts and cultural district in Bonanza Park. Officials see the area as offering a strong arts presence once completed, housing the Kimball Art Center and Utah headquarters of the Sundance Institute, as well as providing retail space and affordable housing.
“I’d like to see that become a second Old Town of some sort with a full range of restaurants, entertainment facilities, as much affordable living as you can cram in there,” he said.
Parigian’s campaign puts the number of candidates for three open City Council seats at seven, triggering an August 13 primary in which voters will eliminate one hopeful. Incumbents Becca Gerber and Nann Worel are seeking reelection, while Chadwick Fairbanks III, Daniel Lewis, Max Doilney and Deanna Rhodes also joined the race.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.