Park City campaign: Consider the time, the criticism and the ‘honor’
Someone considering a campaign for the Park City Council this year may be weighing how much time an elected official spends on official duties in a typical week.
Or, they may be wondering if City Councilors really receive criticism from the community.
City Hall has scheduled an event on Tuesday, May 21, designed for people who are contemplating a bid for elected office in the municipal campaign, which does not officially start until June but has already launched with public statements from people who intend to run for one of the three City Council seats on the ballot.
A slate of Park City officials is expected to talk about campaigns and the mechanics of seeking office during the event. The speaker lineup includes Mayor Andy Beerman, City Councilor Tim Henney, City Hall special counsel Margaret Plane, Michelle Kellogg, who is the Park City recorder, and Community Engagement Manager Linda Jager. The mayor’s office is not on the ballot in 2019. The City Council seat held by Henney is also not on this year’s ballot.
The event is expected to cover topics like residency requirements for people considering campaigns and other election-related rules. The roles and responsibilities of a City Councilor as well as the amount of time someone spends on official duties will also be covered. The speakers could also discuss the shift from being a private citizen to a public official.
Henney, a second-term City Councilor, said he spent more time on official duties shortly after his swearing-in than an experienced member of the City Council does. Initially, he said, he spent between 20 hours and 25 hours per week on the official duties as he familiarized himself with the new role. He now spends, at most, 20 hours per week with some weeks falling to as little as 15 hours.
Henney described holding a City Council post as something that is rewarding and a privilege.
“It’s an honor to serve the community,” Henney said, adding that “the magnitude of the sensation of honor” was surprising to him.
He cautioned, though, a City Councilor must also be prepared for criticism. Some of the critics base their comments on misinformation and sometimes the criticism becomes personal, Henney said.
The event on Tuesday is scheduled shortly before the campaign officially begins with the opening of the window when candidates must submit campaign paperwork at City Hall. The period runs from June 3 until June 7. If more than six people seek a City Council seat, a primary would be held in August to reduce the field to six for Election Day in November. The winners will be sworn into office in early 2020.
The City Council seats currently held by Nann Worel, Lynn Ware Peek and Becca Gerber are on the ballot. Worel has said she will seek re-election while Ware Peek does not intend to seek a full first term. Gerber has not publicized her intentions. Max Doilney, a businessman, has said he will mount a campaign.
The event is scheduled from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Room 301 at the Park City Library. More information is available on the City Hall website.
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