Park City candidate uses fuzzy math in campaign finance report
Josh Hobson, a Park City Council candidate, raised $725 and spent $1,533.92, apparently putting the campaign in the red as the final days of the election season approached.
According to a required financial report submitted to City Hall, though, his campaign had a balance of $0 on Monday.
His arithmetic was: $725-$1,533.92 = $0. The actual arithmetic should have been: $725-$1,533.92 = -$808.92.
Hobson, an environmental activist, said in an interview it was the first campaign finance form he filled out and he did not have guidance. Park City’s election official was not present when he submitted the form, he said, indicating he would have asked questions had the official been there.
“If there’s errors in the form, I was expecting to hear back from the city,” Hobson said.
Hobson said he made a personal contribution to the campaign to cover the $808.92 deficit between what he raised and spent. The personal contribution was made on Aug. 31, he said, the same date as the final expense listed on the report.
He said he plans to include the personal contribution in a subsequent filing. City Hall requires a financial report after Election Day. Candidates typically list personal contributions at the time they are made. Personal contributions in Park City campaigns are relatively common.
Hobson’s contributions included $50 from Bob Jasper, who is the former Summit County manager, and $100 from Sally Elliott, who served in elected office in Park City and Summit County. Hobson’s mother contributed $200.
The candidate’s largest expenditure was $868.69 for printing yard signs and fliers. Another $419 was spent on making reusable grocery bags.
There was not a primary election in the City Council campaign, meaning that the four candidates were not required to file the first financial report until Monday. The sums were generally down from the most recent City Council campaign, in 2015.
Highlights of the financial reports filed by other City Council candidates included:
• Tim Henney, an incumbent City Councilor, raised $3,475 and spent $3,461.21, leaving him with a balance of a little less than $14. Henney himself or family members contributed the most, accounting for $625. Others who contributed included Peter Metcalf, who was the founder of Black Diamond Equipment and contributed $250, and Mary and Charlie Wintzer, who are longtime Parkites and contributed $200. Bob and Susan Richer contributed $100. Bob Richer served in elected office in Park City and Summit County. Henney spent campaign funds on newspaper advertisements, reusable bags and other promotional material.
• Steve Joyce, a member of the Park City Planning Commission, raised $6,175 and spent $5,410.92. He had a balance of $764.08 headed into the final week of the campaign. Joyce and his wife each contributed $1,000, making the couple the largest contributor if taken together. James and Marianne Nelson, whose listed address is in Deer Crest, also contributed $1,000. Mary and Charlie Wintzer contributed $200. Joyce spent the largest amount, approximately $3,200, on logos, a website and brochures.
A report from Mark Blue, the other City Council candidate, was not immediately available.
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