Park City voters complete Andy Beerman’s rise to mayor’s office
It was a turnabout from a primary his competitor won by more than 10 percentage points
Andy Beerman, a Park City Councilor who has navigated the line between business and environmentalism, won the mayor’s office on Tuesday in his second bid for the Marsac Building’s top political post.
Beerman, 48 and an Old Town resident who has lived in Park City since 1995, defeated former three-term Mayor Dana Williams. Beerman garnered 1,318 votes, or 54.5 percent, while Williams was named on 1,100 votes, or 45.5 percent. It was a turnabout from a three-person August primary that Williams won by more than 10 percentage points. Beerman was the second-place finisher in the primary. Voter turnout was 49.7 percent.
Beerman is scheduled to take office in early January and will succeed the retiring Jack Thomas. He will resign from the City Council position midterm to ascend to the mayor’s office.
“It’s exciting more than anything. I felt relief and gratitude,” Beerman said.
He said he does not foresee fundamental shifts at City Hall once he takes office, saying the municipal government’s work plan has support. Beerman said, though, he would like to hold discussions about ideas to broaden City Hall’s efforts to engage the public. He also said he would like City Hall’s building, planning and engineering functions to operate in a manner that is more customer friendly and more efficient. Beerman said he wants City Hall to work more closely with Park City’s Latino population, the community’s largest minority group by a wide margin.
Beerman said he hopes to talk to his three predecessors in the mayor’s office — Thomas, Williams and Brad Olch — about the position.
Beerman’s rise started as a Main Street businessman, and he once led the merchants group that represents the shopping, dining and entertainment strip. He and his wife once owned the lodging company that operates the Treasure Mountain Inn. They continue to have substantial interests at the Main Street property, but they do not run the day-to-day operations. Beerman, though, has also pressed environmentalism in his private-sector position as well as through his City Council service. The Treasure Mountain Inn has been honored for its wide-ranging green efforts while City Hall during his nearly six years in office has expanded an already aggressive environmental program.
The contest between Beerman and Williams was a cordial affair with few political fireworks. The issues were similar between them – addressing the related issues of growth and traffic as well as other standard City Hall election topics like the economy. Beerman seemed especially aggressive in his campaigning after the primary. He was also more focused than he was in the unsuccessful bid four years ago. He secured the endorsements of a lengthy roster of government leaders and his fundraising efforts beat Williams by a wide margin. He said he wanted to broaden his in-person campaigning after the primary as well.
Beerman, meanwhile, said he likely won the support of large numbers of voters who backed Roger Armstrong, a Summit County Councilor, in the primary. He said himself and Armstrong “cannibalized each other’s votes.”
The results are preliminary. The Summit County Clerk’s Office, which managed the election on behalf of City Hall, said approximately 350 ballots that arrived in the mail on Wednesday need to be counted. An unknown number of ballots left at drop boxes after 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday also still need to be counted. The ballots left to be counted are from across Summit County, and it is not known how many of the ballots are from Park City. It is highly unlikely Williams could overtake Beerman in the final count. The Park City canvass is scheduled on Thursday.
Nearly a dozen Park City and Summit County officials sat on a public panel Wednesday to outline the way forward on wildfire management and to answer questions from residents.