Park City voters prepare to choose three city councilors following mild-mannered campaign

Tight range of September primary leaves open possibility for significant movement on Tuesday

The Park City Council candidates gathered in November for a forum at the Park City Librarycentered on issues related to climate and sustainability. There are three City Council seats on the ballot on Tuesday. From left: Bill Ciraco, Ryan Dickey, John Greenfield, Matthew Nagie, Ed Parigian and Bob Sertner.
David Jackson/Park Record

Election Day is Tuesday, two weeks later than had been planned and two days before Thanksgiving.

Park City voters will select three members, a majority, of the City Council after a campaign marked by mild mannerisms and the lack of a singular defining issue, such as the pandemic or a development dispute. The winners will be sworn into office for four-year terms in early January.

Six people are vying for the three seats. Ryan Dickey is the only incumbent on the ballot, and he is seeking his first full term after a midterm appointment to the City Council to serve the remainder of the term Nann Worel vacated when she ascended to the mayor’s office nearly two years ago. The other candidates are:

The field is largely made up of candidates with limited experience in the municipal ranks. They bring broadly different backgrounds to the campaign, their tenures in Park City also range widely, and there is an array of issues they are pressing as the campaign nears its end.

The limited experience and the wide range of platform planks likely led to the tightness in the results of the primary election in September. Dickey advanced out of the primary by a comfortable margin as the first-place finisher, but the other five who made it to the November ballot were in a tight range in the September voting. There was a 259-vote margin between the No. 2 finisher and the No. 6 finisher in the primary election. That leaves open the possibility for significant movement on Tuesday since more people are expected to vote in the general election than did in the primary.

The campaign covered traditional Park City political issues, such as growth, traffic, the economy and the impacts of the resort industry. The candidates generally agreed on the overarching topics, but they attempted to distinguish themselves from the field with some of the details.

Over the course of the campaign, some of the comments from the candidates in public settings:

  • Parigian talking about the community’s senior citizens and describing a so-called continuum of care is desired.
  • Dickey contending Park City holds a leadership role in issues related to the climate.
  • Sertner discussing staging a second Winter Olympics in the state and saying another Games could help advance Park City’s sustainability work.
  • Greenfield pointing to park-and-ride lots as methods to capture traffic before it arrives inside the city.
  • Nagie telling an audience riding an e-bike is a means of practicing sustainability in his own life.
  • Ciraco outlining a concept of creating a rail line as one of the solutions to Park City’s traffic issues.

The winners will enter four-year terms with major issues awaiting them. There is the possibility of significant development at the Park City Mountain base area and the Snow Park base area of Deer Valley Resort. City Hall itself is considering development possibilities for municipal land off Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard, decisions about a future Games, perhaps those of 2030 or 2034, are pending. And sweeping transportation ideas are under review.

They will also enter office at a time when Parkites are concerned about the direction of the community and issues like affordability. Just four in 10 Parkites see the overall direction Park City is taking as being excellent or good, a recent survey conducted on behalf of City Hall found.

Election Day on Tuesday is later than the original date, which was set for Nov. 7. The date was moved back two weeks as a result of a special election in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, putting Election Day in Utah this year in the same week as Thanksgiving.

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