Alex Butwinski, defeated in November, seeks new role at City Hall
January 28, 2014
Former Park City Councilor Alex Butwinski has submitted his name as a candidate for the city’s Planning Commission, seeking a return to the municipal government a little more than two months after his Election Day defeat.
It is unusual for someone to mount a bid for another official position at City Hall after an unsuccessful political campaign, particularly so soon after an election loss. In an interview in December, as he was preparing to leave office, Butwinski said he planned to occasionally attend City Council meetings. He was a City Hall watcher prior winning the City Council seat in 2009.
Butwinski is one of the people vying for a Planning Commission appointment. The position is a partial term ending in July. It is available as a result of Mick Savage’s decision to leave the panel prior to the end of his term. Butwinski said he has not decided whether he would seek a full four-year term on the Planning Commission later in the year if he is appointed to the partial one.
Butwinski had been the City Councilor assigned to monitor the Planning Commission on behalf of the other elected officials. He regularly attended Planning Commission meetings as a City Councilor. He also was seen at meetings of the panel prior to his 2009 election.
Butwinski said it is important that the Planning Commission retain institutional knowledge. The City Council, with Butwinski as a member, shook up the Planning Commission in 2013. There are three new members of the panel. The Planning Commission is seen as ranking second in influence of City Hall’s bodies, trailing only the City Council. There will essentially be four new members, a majority on the seven-person Planning Commission, once the person is seated for the partial term.
"The most important thing is there have been comments about the totally new Planning Commission and they might not have a complete historical perspective," Butwinski said.
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Butwinski said the top issues the Planning Commission faces are traffic, growth and what he describes as "unmanaged development." He said the Planning Commission has a role in shaping the redevelopment of Park City.
Butwinski, a Park Meadows resident, finished third in the City Council contest in November. There were two seats on the ballot. The result followed a first-place finish in the primary election in August. He remained disappointed in the result as he was finishing his term, saying in an interview in December that his successes on the City Council did not resonate with voters.
The City Council selects members of the Planning Commission. Two of the City Councilors — Cindy Matsumoto and Tim Henney — were on the ballot with Butwinski.
"I will be really disappointed because I think I bring a lot to the table," Butwinski said about the prospects of the City Council not choosing him for the position.
City Hall by Tuesday morning had not released the applications or the names of the people vying for the Planning Commission position. The City Council typically interviews Planning Commission hopefuls in a public setting and then deliberates privately about the appointment.
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