Park City mayor, upbeat, outlines vision of kind, patient community
February 16, 2019
The mayor of Park City on Tuesday delivered an upbeat State of the City address, covering City Hall successes and announcing two initiatives designed to ensure Parkites understand key municipal processes and take pride in the community where they live.
Mayor Andy Beerman, in a break in tradition, gave a formal State of the City address, the first mayor to do so. Members of the Park City Council joined Beerman in the front of the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library, but the mayor was the focus of the evening.
Beerman announced an initiative called "Love Where You Live," saying the work will cover a list of issues important to Parkites. He wants people to be stewards of the environment and stand up for neighbors. He said Parkites should help neighbors in need, perhaps by shoveling their driveway.
"Practicing your kindness, practicing your patience," the mayor said.
It appears the "Love Where You Live" initiative will be pursued in a variety of ways rather than through an individual program.
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LIVE: Park City Mayor Andy Beerman gives the first State of the City address. Beerman will review City Hall's progress in 2018 as well as unveil his "Love Where You Live" initiative.
Posted by Park Record on Tuesday, February 12, 2019
The mayor also announced a new staff post at the Marsac Building he referred to as a "resident advocate." He said municipal processes are complicated and the new staffer will assist the public through a "personal touch" to the processes. The staffer will be especially involved as someone attempts to secure City Hall permits. The City Hall permitting process, particularly regarding development matters, has long been criticized as burdensome.
Beerman, meanwhile, outlined plans for a significant expansion of the infrastructure for electric vehicles, a move that he sees as advancing the municipal environmental efforts. He said 100 charging stations for electric vehicles will be installed by the end of 2019. City Hall will partner with Rocky Mountain Power on the installations. Beerman said half will be installed on public property with the remainder put at unspecified businesses.
City Councilors also spoke during a question-and-answer session with the audience. They received inquiries about a broad range of issues.
One audience member wondered about the long-term future of the Rail Trail, with there apparently being concern about development on the corridor someday. City Councilor Tim Henney told the crowd he envisions the Rail Trail remaining as it is now.
Another member of the audience asked about foreign seasonal workers in Park City who arrive in the U.S. with J-1 visas through the State Department-overseen Exchange Visitor Program. The workers sometimes pack into housing in what is the state's most expensive real estate market.
The mayor acknowledged the foreigners holding J-1 visas are an important part of the Park City workforce. Lynn Ware Peek, a City Councilor, said the issue is a challenge for the community but one that also offers opportunities. She described the J-1 visa holders as great members of the community.
Henney also addressed the issue, contending businesses that employ people holding J-1 visas have a responsibility to provide housing for the workers.
"The employers play a very significant role in that," Henney said.