Park City Council contest draws nine, some with established names and others with political newcomer status

The election season could enter a lull with the primary pushed back, but an eclectic field awaits voters

The Park City Council campaign drew nine candidates, enough to require a primary election to reduce the field for Election Day in November. The field includes established names and newcomers to Park City politics.
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

The Park City Council election ballot is set, and voters have an eclectic group of nine candidates to consider as they mull who should advance out of a primary election and then who are the best to help lead the community for four years.

The period when candidates needed to file campaign paperwork closed on Wednesday. There was not a rush of interest in the final hours, but the field is an intriguing one nonetheless. Some of the candidates are newcomers to politics while others are known in Park City political circles.

There are three City Council seats on the ballot, but only one incumbent is in the contest. The candidates:

• Ed Parigian

Matthew Nagie

Ryan Dickey, an incumbent city councilor

David Dobkin

Betsy Wallace

Jody Whitesides

John Greenfield

Bill Ciraco

Bob Sertner

Although Dickey is a current member of the City Council, the election will be the first time his name is on the ballot since he was appointed to the seat midterm to succeed Nann Worel as she ascended to the mayor’s office. The two other city councilors whose seats are on the ballot – Becca Gerber and Max Doilney –are not seeking reelection, meaning there will be at least two new members of the City Council sworn into office in 2024.

A primary election is scheduled Sept. 5 to reduce the field for Election Day in November. Six of the candidates will advance out of the primary. The three top vote-getters in November will take their seats on the City Council in January.

A few of the candidates have better name recognition than the others. Betsy Wallace was the top Utah-based staffer at the Sundance Institute and is now the top staffer at the Park City Institute. Dobkin unsuccessfully sought the mayor’s office in 2021, Parigian has had high-profile roles in community issues like the future of the field outside the Park City Library and Whitesides has established himself over the years as a musician.

But voters sometimes desire change at the Marsac Building and do not necessarily see people with track records of service in the community as the answer, notably electing Jeremy Rubell, at the time a newcomer to the Park City political scene, to the City Council in 2021. The field this year provides an opportunity for another relative newcomer to capture a seat.

The election is expected to hinge on well-established issues. There seems to be general agreement on what issues will be crucial to the campaign — topics like growth, traffic and the economy. The candidates will be outlining their solutions, and some of the ideas may be similar in nature to one another while others could be radically different.

The candidates will likely provide concepts to fight traffic, such as broadened bus service or aerial routes, and they will be expected to provide ideas to add to the community’s workforce or otherwise-restricted housing stock. The efforts to host a second Winter Olympics, perhaps as early as the Games of 2030, will undoubtedly be addressed, as will the relationship between the community and the resort industry and regional relations. They will also likely try to address what has seemed to be concern about the overall direction of Park City, a topic that is difficult to pin on a single issue but one that could ultimately swing voters toward some candidates and away from others.

There could be a lull in the campaign in coming weeks as the candidates finalize platforms and strategies and then begin to establish or widen a base. The primary election in early September is nearly three months away. They have more time even than they expected after the date of the primary election was moved from mid-August to early September to accommodate the midterm process to select a representative in the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

City Hall has posted election information on the municipal website, The direct link is:

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