Park City Council hopeful: ‘Who runs the city? City Hall or Vail?’
An Old Town man who has been active in the Republican Party has started a campaign for the Park City Council, saying housing is a key issue and City Hall should press developers to help with housing.
Chadwick Fairbanks III has lived in Park City for approximately two years and describes himself as a consultant and an entrepreneur. He said he plans to launch a transportation firm as well. He unsuccessfully competed to become the chair of the Utah Republican Party and twice failed in campaigns in the 1st Congressional District, which includes Park City and surrounding Summit County. He ran for Congress once as an independent and once as a Republican.
Fairbanks said he would bring a “fresh perspective on some of these issues.” He outlined an idea to broaden the City Hall workforce or otherwise affordable housing efforts that rely at some level on the private sector. He said, as an example, Colorado-based Vail Resorts, the owner of Park City Mountain Resort, could take steps at the request of the municipal government. He said Vail Resorts should play a large role in housing foreign workers who arrive for the ski season, explaining City Hall could require the firm to house the workers.
“Who runs the city? City Hall or Vail?” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks, meanwhile, said City Hall could address traffic and transportation issues by taking steps like limiting the number of ridesharing vehicles, such as those tied to Uber and Lyft, operating inside Park City. He wants heavy restrictions on what he considers to be lower-end ridesharing vehicles. He said the prevalence of ridesharing vehicles in Park City, as well as transportation firms, makes it less likely people choose to travel on City Hall buses.
“Nobody’s using the free transit. Nobody’s using the park-and-ride,” he said.
City Hall elections are nonpartisan, but Park City voters historically have heavily backed Democrats. It is unclear whether the Republican background of Fairbanks will be of note in a campaign that is expected to focus on local issues rather than state or national ones that are typically more partisan.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.