Pace Erickson, longtime City Hall employee, retires this week
People who golfed on the Park City municipal course in the 1980s and the 1990s drove, chipped and putted 18 holes that Pace Erickson had much to do with on a daily basis.
More recently, Parkites drove on roads snowplowed and kept in shape by Erickson’s crews.
Erickson, the operations manager in the Public Works Department, is retiring from the municipal government on Friday, after having worked for City Hall since 1984.
He started as the superintendent of the golf course and was promoted to overseeing the Parks Department as well four years later, holding the position of superintendent of parks and golf from 1988 until 1997.
Erickson, who is 50 years old, eventually was tapped to manage the operations of the Public Works Department, one of the most challenging jobs in the City Hall hierarchy. One of his duties is overseeing the annual maintenance schedule for streets, as the roads that will receive a fresh layer of asphalt or other upgrade are selected.
"I think it’s certainly in a lot better shape than when I first started," Erickson said about the department’s operations in an interview as his retirement approached.
Erickson acknowledged he holds a job that does not receive much praise when the work goes well but is criticized when there are problems. Erickson and his crews consider the operations have been successful if there are not many complaints afterward.
Erickson since 2002 has overseen the snow-removal operations, one of the higher-profile parts of the job. City Hall has received complaints over the years about snow removal, but Erickson said the operations are "excellent."
Park City’s snow removal efforts include snowplowing and hauling operations when the snow has piled up in, particularly in Old Town. Critics have targeted the length of time it takes for some streets to be plowed and how long the snow banks are left before they are hauled away.
Erickson, though, contends the crews have been more frequently conducting what he dubs ‘mini-hauls,’ or taking the snow from Main Street and storing it somewhere else nearby before trucking it to a storage site well outside Park City neighborhoods.
"I think Park City is getting a very, very, very high level of service . . . They’re very excellent services," he said about the snowplows.
Erickson is one of 14 City Hall staffers with at least 25 years of employment with the municipal government. His tenure ranks him No. 11 on the City Hall list.
He started at a time of transition in the community. There had already been a wave of newcomers in the 1970s, but the boom years of the 1990s were still more than a half a decade from starting. The municipal government of the era remained a far smaller institution compared to what it has become in the years since.
Erickson said City Hall nowadays is managed better than it has been at any point during his career. He said Tom Bakaly, the city manager from 2003 until this year, brought a team-based environment to the municipal government that, though difficult for some to embrace at first, was successful.
Two career highlights included the work during the 2002 Winter Olympics and the golf course earning accolades from a national magazine. Erickson said a newscaster during the Olympics labeled Park City the cleanest place he’d been to. Meanwhile, in the 1990s, Golf Digest ranked Park City in its list of the top 100 municipal golf courses, Erickson said. He said the golf course was once in bad shape and was derisively referred to as a goat ranch based on the condition.
Erickson wants to spend time with his parents in his retirement. He also wants to travel, with France as one of the places he wants to go. Erickson said he might consider pursuing a degree in the culinary arts and becoming a chef someday.
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.