Park City voters back known figures in City Council contest | ParkRecord.com

Park City voters back known figures in City Council contest

The results were not seen as a political stunner

Tim Henney, an incumbent Park City Councilor, was the top finisher in a contest with two seats on the ballot on Tuesday, propelling him to a second term as voters signaled their support of the agenda at the Marsac Building.

Henney garnered 1,592 votes, or 39.91 percent, in the preliminary count on Election Day. The second-place candidate, Park City Planning Commissioner Steve Joyce, won the other seat. He totaled 1,493 votes, or 37.43 percent.

Henney will take the oath of office for a second time in early January while Joyce will be sworn into office then as well.

The other two candidates trailed the winners by wide margins. Josh Hobson, an environmental activist and chef, was selected on 551 ballots, or 13.81 percent. Perennial City Council candidate Mark Blue took 353 votes, or 8.85 percent.

The numbers are expected to be finalized at a canvass scheduled on Nov. 16. The order of the top two finishers could change as a result of the additional ballots counted in the canvass, but there are not enough votes left to be tallied to push Hobson into the No. 2 position.

Nearly half of Park City's registered voters — 49.72 percent — cast ballots, according to the Summit County Clerk's Office.

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There was not a primary election in the City Council contest, meaning Tuesday was the first read of voter support for the candidates. The results were not a political stunner. Henney had the benefit of incumbency at a time there appears to be significant public support for the work of City Hall. Joyce, meanwhile, holds a seat on the influential Planning Commission, and there is a long history of panel members winning elected office in Park City.

"I was very pleased and honored. It's a tremendous honor to represent a community," Henney said in an interview.

Henney said he will continue to work on City Hall's critical priorities of housing, transportation and energy at the outset of his second term. Leaders are "delivering across the board" on the list, he said. He said, however, the critical priorities could be re-evaluated over the course of the four-year term and could at some point be relabeled downward to top or high priorities.

"There's the opportunity to have discussions . . . I sense a shift," Henney said.

Henney is 59 years old and lives in lower Deer Valley. He has lived in Park City since 1992. He is a real estate investor and manager. He has said his work in that field has wound down over time.

Henney said he will press the ideal of social equity in the second term. There seems to be a possibility City Hall could create a social equity department, something that other Park City leaders have also mentioned.

Henney said social equity talks could address topics like senior citizen issues as well as the overall affordability of Park City. He said, as an example, the discussions could explore the financial impacts of increases in municipal water rates.

Henney, meanwhile, said he wants the identity of Park City to be better defined. He said he wants to learn from Park City residents whether they consider the city a world-class resort destination with an accompanying community or vice versa. 

Joyce said in an interview he has prepared to serve by regularly attending City Council meetings over the past year.

He reiterated the importance of some platform planks like fiscal responsibility. He called himself "really nosy" on financial matters.

"I will spend a lot of time going through the budget," he said, describing an interest in reviewing City Hall borrowing and which municipal projects are funding priorities.

Joyce is 55 and has lived in Park City since 2004. He lives in April Mountain and is retired after a career in computer science. He sees his service on the Planning Commission as having given him an important background in City Hall's development rules. His Planning Commission experience provides "extra value" to his upcoming City Council role, he said.

Joyce said it was a "nice campaign."

"It's a lot of work during the campaign. You hate to get through it all and come up short," Joyce said.