Park City mayor’s race: Andy Beerman wins in fundraising
Andy Beerman, a Park City Councilor seeking the mayor’s office, raised more campaign monies and spent more by the end of October than his opponent, relying on contributions from a wide range of people that includes current and former elected officials as well as a few big donors.
In a required report filed at City Hall on Monday, Oct. 30, Beerman indicated he had raised $47,669 in cash or donated services. He had spent $29,166 and had $9,624 in cash available for the end of the campaign.
Dana Williams, a former three-term mayor who is seeking a return to the Marsac Building, raised $31,160 in cash or donated services, his report indicated. He had spent $16,029.41, leaving him with $3,650.59 in cash as the final days of the campaign approached.
The combined dollar figures roughly resemble those in the mayoral campaign four years ago, when Jack Thomas beat Beerman for the office. The numbers that year were unexpectedly high as Thomas brought in $50,000-plus in contributions.
Williams won the primary by a wide margin with Beerman being the second-place finisher. Beerman afterward needed to increase his name recognition against a popular former mayor and broaden his efforts to outline his platform.
Beerman’s contributor list includes $100 from Ben McAdams, who is the mayor of Salt Lake County, and $500 from Summit County Councilor Chris Robinson. The mayor of Layton, Bob Stevenson, contributed $50. Park City Planning Commissioner Melissa Band contributed $100. Some of Beerman’s high-dollar contributors include Hank Lewis of Park City, who contributed $5,000, Paul Zane Pilzer of Park City, at $1,000, Jim Gaddis of Salt Lake City, who contributed $1,000, and Roxane Googin of Park City, who contributed $1,000.
“I received a lot of unsolicited contributions from both prior supporters and new supporters,” Beerman said.
He said contributions from people like McAdams show regional support for the campaign. Beerman said he and McAdams worked together on issues like the Mountain Accord planning efforts in the Wasatch Mountains and the acquisition of Bonanza Flat for conservation purposes. McAdams is “someone who is so influential to the region as mayor of Salt Lake County.”
Beerman said he respects Robinson, the Summit County Councilor who contributed. He said he has worked closely with Robinson on issues like open space, water and soils as well as the Mountain Accord.
“Dana is a local celebrity and remains a household name. After the primary, I realized it would require aggressive marketing to share my message and achieve equal footing,” Beerman said.
Beerman made an arithmetic error on his report, the third City Hall candidate to do so this election. He apparently did not add $306 contributed by people giving less than $50 to his overall total, meaning his campaign balance was $9,930 as Election Day approached rather than the $9,624 reported.
Williams, meanwhile, largely tapped a list of rank-and-file Parkites as he raised campaign funds. Niels Vernegaard, an opponent of the Treasure development proposal, contributed $1,000. Others who gave at that level included Chuck Haggerty of the Park City area and Peter Shea, also of Park City. The No Name Saloon provided $7,000 worth of services.
Williams said his fundraising went well and he wanted to keep campaign costs under control.
“The idea of bringing it back to some semblance of reality is great,” Williams said.
It was unclear whether Williams’ report followed a state rule regarding the level of detail required in listing the contributions of under $50. Beerman itemized contributions at that level but did not list the names while Williams did not itemize them or list the names. It was not clear whether City Hall’s rules regarding financial reports matched those of the state.
Williams said the contribution from Vernegaard came after talks about Treasure. Shea is a supporter who Williams said he does not know well while Haggerty is a retired business executive the candidate met during the campaign.
Williams noted his contributor list lacked the prominent political figures seen on Beerman’s submittal, saying it was not a surprise.
“That’s been a familiar pattern over the four times I’ve run,” he said, adding, “I never had the support of the establishment in town. I’m very used to that.”
Another contributor to Williams, Jon-Eric Greene of Peoa, is notable although the name is not well known in the community. Greene is a figure in the firm that owns the retail space on the ground floor of a building on Main Street. The firm filed a lawsuit against City Hall centered on the municipal government’s move against chain stores on Main Street. The case is still pending in 3rd District Court, but Greene said his side intends to request it be dismissed.
Greene said Williams is “someone who respects the public process.” The current leadership at City Hall has shown a “lack of public process,” he said. Williams said he spoke to Greene on the phone about chain stores and “mostly, I listened.”
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