Park City taps ex-Sundance official, former Moab city manager for high-level posts
City Hall has hired two deputy city managers, tapping a former high-ranking Sundance Film Festival official for one of the posts and a onetime top staffer in the Moab municipal government for the other.
Sarah Pearce was the managing director of the Sundance Institute at the time of her 2017 departure, while David Everitt left the city manager post in Moab in 2019 and, earlier, was the chief of staff during the administration of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.
Pearce was named the deputy city manager over internal services. Everitt’s duties as a deputy city manager put him over community development, housing and economic development. They started their work at the Marsac Building in late March.
The hirings continue a series of high-level changes at the Marsac Building that date to last fall. When the former Park City manager, Diane Foster, departed the municipal government in October, the assistant city manager, Matt Dias, was appointed the interim city manager and later ascended to the permanent post. Anne Laurent, the community development director, also left the Marsac Building. It is the first time City Hall has employed a hierarchy with two deputy city managers or assistant city managers.
Dias as part of the moves eliminated the community development director position and left vacant the assistant city manager post that he once held. Those two positions were essentially converted into the two deputy city manager posts filled by Pearce and Everitt. The personnel moves did not result in an increase to the budget. The change in the posts will be reflected in the budget that is scheduled to be presented to Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council shortly.
Dias said the addition of Pearce and Everitt creates a “stronger executive team.” They will practice what he described as a shared leadership style and the two will be given a “great deal of autonomy,” Dias said.
Pearce is well known in many Park City circles from her role at Sundance. She rose at Sundance to become the managing director, the top Utah-based staffer in the organization. She was for years one of the Sundance staffers heavily involved with the City Hall relationship, frequently appearing at the Marsac Building on behalf of Sundance as the sides negotiated agreements outlining various aspects of the festival. She left Sundance to work as the arts and culture division director in the Salt Lake County government.
“I have a real interest in organizational culture,” Pearce said, describing one of her goals as a deputy city manager as being to “provide a fresh perspective and leadership to a community I am passionate about.”
She will be working with City Hall staffers in human resources, budget and finance. Dias said Pearce will be leading the municipal efforts as it plans for the possibility of a recession amid the economic downturn wrought by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Everitt’s duties involving community development and economic development will be key as well at a time of uncertainty. The economic development work is expected to be crucial as City Hall attempts to lead the wider community at a moment when it is unclear how devastating the downturn will be. He said he wants to consider ideas for a resilient economy that is diversified from one that is overwhelmingly based on tourism.
Everitt also said officials in Moab have long seen the municipal government of Park City as a leader in city-level issues in the state.
He will continue to work on an arts and culture district City Hall plans to develop along Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. Everitt had been retained by the municipal government as a consultant working on the district for several months prior to his hiring as a deputy city manager. The Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute would anchor the district.
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City Hall in December posted strong sales-tax numbers, powering past projections and nearly equaling the figure from the same month in the previous year, as Park City continued to beat expectations amid the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.