Opening on Park City Council attracts a broad field of applicants
Park City received applications for a midterm City Council appointment from a group of Parkites with diverse backgrounds in the private sector and public service.
The City Council opening is a result of Mayor Andy Beerman’s successful campaign for Park City’s top political office. He held one of the five City Council spots before his swearing-in as the mayor.
The elected officials are scheduled to conduct interviews with the field on Thursday and next Tuesday and select someone on Jan. 23.
Summaries of the first set of applications appeared in the Jan. 6 edition of The Park Record.
• Ed Parigian, who lives on Norfolk Avenue and has lived in Park City for more than 11 years. He is a member of the municipal Recreation Advisory Board and served on a task force assigned to discuss off-leash dog issues.
Parigian also led a group that successfully pressed City Hall to protect the Library Field from development. His application identifies himself as a “core member” of the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, a group that has long opposed the Treasure development proposal as it is currently designed.
“In 11 years here, I have grown to love this place as something special, as we all do. I’m buying a cemetery plot as we speak . . . so essentially I’m going to ‘live’ here for eternity . . . I want it to be a peaceful rest,” Parigian said in his application.
Parigian said in the application he is an innovator, a leader, a thinker and is conscious of the environment. He said an issue in Park City is balancing the rights of a landowner against maintaining the community’s integrity. He said he agrees with City Hall moves to acquire land and pursue development to guide projects.
“A tremendous number of people possess a tremendous amount of discretionary money . . . looking for a home. And they have chosen PC, for all the obvious reasons, as an area to put it. We are, in stock market jargon, ‘in play,’” he said.
• Lynn Ware Peek, who lives on Holiday Ranch Loop Road and has lived in Park City or the Snyderville Basin for 30 years. She is a City Hall staffer, serving as the municipal government’s community engagement liaison. It is rare for a staffer to seek a post on the City Council, either through a campaign or an appointment.
She is a member of a group known as PC UNIDOS, which presses issues important to the city’s Latino community and once was a member of the leadership of the not-for-profit organization Mountain Trails Foundation. She also said she has held a range of positions in Park City, including as a server in a restaurant and as a journalist. She said she has been at most City Council meetings either as a journalist or a municipal staffer over the past five years.
Ware Peek said she heard comments during the 2017 City Hall election that there were few women or people who speak Spanish seeking office.
“I reflected during the campaign that perhaps it was my time to serve my community in this way. Since my time as a reporter, I have been a great fan of the City and the work it does and have wanted greater involvement,” she said in the application.
She said the City Council “would be more rounded out with the addition of someone who already has relationships within the Latino community and its leadership, the Park City merchant and employee community, and the resident community in general.”
Ware Peek also said the municipal government “is an entity that is doing great things and I think that my honed skills with community engagement would bring the Council closer to the community.”
• Michael Kaplan, who lives on McHenry Avenue and has lived in Park City for 19 years. He has been involved in numerous committees during his time in Park City and unsuccessfully campaigned for a City Council seat years ago. The committee work has included panels that delved into the development of what became the Park City Ice Arena, a parking committee focused on the Main Street core and the Historic Park City Alliance, which represents businesses on or close to Main Street. He once owned a Main Street business.
He sees an appointed City Council post as “somewhat of a caretaker role,” different than a City Councilor who won a seat through an election. He hopes to contribute with a “balanced perspective and decision-making.”
Kaplan, meanwhile, said he has worries about City Hall spending recently.
“These last few years the recent Council has been progressive and taken the initiative and opportunity to purchase several multimillion-dollar real estate (and other) projects. I think that’s great, however I’m a bit concerned about the costs and our corresponding future debt,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan attached a resume to his application showing teaching experience on the collegiate and graduate levels in the U.S. and in Europe. The resume indicates he has resided in 89 countries and traveled to 131.
Kaplan said he is attempting to develop apartments that would be affordable and has a “basic understanding of how the local political process and ‘City Hall’ works.”
• Sebastian Ziesler, who lives on Estates Circle and has lived in Park City for nine years. Ziesler is a member of the Recreation Advisory Board, was involved in the Park City Triathlon Club and has been a McPolin Elementary School volunteer.
Ziesler said in the application the elected officials in Park City are good and “I can see myself fitting in and working well with this group.”
“When we decided to move our family to Park City ten years ago – we could have moved anywhere in the country – the complete community idea, and how it would support our successfully raising a family was a top consideration and I saw the idea being manifested in Park City even back then,” Ziesler said.
Ziesler grew up “in one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin yet have been able to overcome that limitation and am now in a demographic of families who have the ability to live Park City full-time,” the application said.
“This gives me perspective on community qualities which people see as being important, while still understanding financial implications,” Ziesler said.
The application indicates Ziesler has a background in engineering.
• Roger Jorgensen, who lives on Empire Avenue and has lived in Park City for two years. The application says Jorgensen’s community involvement “has consisted mainly of work and play,” and he has interacted with Park City residents and visitors through work at a restaurant and a sporting-goods store.
“I have yet to serve on any boards or commissions, however my unique understanding of life in Park City bodes well for my ambitions as a city councilman,” he said.
Jorgensen also said in the application “Park City needs a representative that is living the same way as a many of its constituents.” He wants to ensure Park City is what he considers to be a “sustainable tourism destination,” describing himself as a 23-year-old student who is studying at the University of Utah.
“Through my age, I will be an in touch and approachable member of the Park City Council. From experiences with volunteer-ism, as well as student government, and a passion for government, I will be a valued member of the team,” Jorgensen said.
• Jennifer Malherbe, who lives on Daly Avenue and has lived in Park City since 2015 after having owned a home in the city since 2009. Malherbe has held a trustee position at Ballet West and was one of the founders of a re-established Ballet West Guild. Malherbe is a member of a City Hall panel that studies the impacts of special events on the community.
“Park City Council (and Park City Municipal Corporation) has impressed me with its collaborative and creative approach to growth management, preservation of ‘Park City,’ long term problem solving, and optimization of resources,” she wrote in the application. “The method, style, and outcomes of Council’s work really appeals to me.”
Malherbe says she has 15 years of experience in leadership posts in socioeconomic and educational fields and has 14 years of experience as a real estate agent. She also has 12 years of paralegal work in cases that have involved land and water rights issues.
• Diane Bernhardt, who lives on Coalition View Court and has lived in Park City since 2014. Bernhardt is an advocate for students who are blind or visually impaired, indicating her work is on the local, state and national levels. The work has involved the Park City School District and state-level education officials, she said. Bernhardt also spent more than 23 years with Bank of America.
“I raise awareness of the competency of and prejudice toward disabled people, especially for those who are blind/visually impaired,” she said in the application.
Bernhardt also was one of the founders of a group formed to protect Rossie Hill, a location off the Old Town roundabout on the route toward lower Deer Valley. There have been development pressures in the Rossie Hill neighborhood.
She says she wants to “build a sustainable and thriving Park City.”
“We all want Park City to be a place where people can and want to work and live, not only now, but for generations. The mix of factors which will take us there are the right balance of economic, environmental and social,” Bernhardt wrote in the application. “A sustainable, thriving community is one that hits the sweet spot which is the intersection of a robust economy, healthy environment and equitable social opportunities.”
• Abby McNulty, who lives on Norfolk Avenue and has lived in Park City for 16 years. McNulty works at the Park City Education Foundation as the executive director and previously worked for the Sundance Institute. McNulty also has experience with a range of not-for-profit organizations and is a member of the Park City Library Board.
“In my capacity as a nonprofit executive, I have significant engagement with all aspects of the community including working and partnering with other nonprofit and governmental organizations as well as engagement with Park City Schools, administrators, teachers, and parents,” McNulty said in her application.
McNulty said she has considered campaigning for a City Council seat, but the timing was not right. She said she would bring a unique perspective that would complement the other City Councilors since she is a working mom. She said, as an example, when she became a mother in 2008, she realized Old Town has few sidewalks.
“The streets simply were not friendly for my stroller, my dog and me. Shortly thereafter, I began working with the City’s staff to identify solutions for creating safer streets. Ten years later, I’m still proud of those conversation and the outcomes – crosswalks and signage,” she said.
McNulty said she is “a strong advocate for equity and diversity.” She also said McPolin Elementary School “is a case in point that can provide examples and ideas as the City continues to think about how to create community connections and equal opportunities for all.”
• Barbara Maw, who lives on Estates Drive and has lived in Park City for longer than 20 years. Maw has a background as a trial lawyer and a biochemist. Her legal work includes topics like construction law, product liability and healthcare law. Her work in biochemistry included researching how environmental pollutants impact skin and the liver.
She was a member of a City Hall committee that considered issues related to dogs, such as the creation of off-leash areas.
She said she has limited the amount of legal work she performs, leaving time to be involved in the community. She said she is interested in topics like housing, social issues, diversity and health issues such as mental health and opiates.
“I have been an arbitrator which requires good listening skills and the ability to see both sides of the issue and weigh the evidence to reach a decision,” Maw said.
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