Andy Beerman begins second bid for Park City mayor’s office
He wants to continue housing, energy, transportation work
THE PARK RECORD
Andy Beerman, a Park City Councilor with credentials in business, government and environmental activism, on Tuesday began a campaign for the mayor’s office, saying he intends to outline a platform centered on “restoring balance to our community.”
It is Beerman’s second mayoral campaign after having lost the 2013 election to the current incumbent, Jack Thomas. Beerman, though, remains one of the most prominent figures in Park City politics, winning two City Council elections with broad support. The mayoral post is the top prize on the City Hall ballot in 2017. Thomas will not seek re-election.
Another well-known political figure, Summit County Councilor Roger Armstrong, has started a mayoral campaign. If more than two people compete for the position, a primary will be held to reduce the field to two for Election Day in November.
Beerman said Park City is out of balance as a result of a hot post-recession economy putting stress on the community. Decisions need to be made based on the desires of Park City residents, he said. The Beerman platform will stress transportation, energy and housing, three current City Hall priorities. He also wants Park City to be a complete, diverse community.
“I think it’s been building for two decades . . . the momentum that has carried us out of balance,” Beerman said.
Beerman said he plans to tout what he sees as the importance of continuity at City Hall. He described that he plays a leadership role on the City Council and he sees one of his strengths as being coalition and consensus building. He has helped focus the City Council, Beerman said.
“At this point, it’s continuity. It’s momentum,” he said.
His campaign will operate under the theme of “Our Town” and will highlight successes and plans for a mayoral administration. Beerman said he wants to continue City Hall’s open space program, describing that acquiring land for conservation purposes is “the only silver bullet to stop growth.” He said City Hall is considering several acquisitions that would block development. He declined to provide details.
Beerman said he wants to pursue a bus fleet that runs on renewable energy and continue traffic-fighting measures along the S.R. 248 corridor with a park-and-ride lot connected to Park City via at least one high-occupancy vehicle lane.
Beerman is 47 years old and lives in Old Town. He has lived in Park City since 1995. He and his wife, Thea Leonard, have significant residential and commercial holdings at the Treasure Mountain Inn. The couple recently sold the company that managed the rentals at the inn. He is in his second term as a City Councilor.
Beerman seemingly entered the 2013 mayoral campaign with a strength as he and Thomas sought to succeed the popular three-term retiring incumbent, Dana Williams. The Beerman campaign, though, did not make the inroads it needed to in heavily populated areas of Park City.
Beerman described a campaign misstep four years ago of not presenting detailed ideas for the present and instead centering on the future. Two years later, as he won re-election as a City Councilor, he said he was re-energized politically as he secured another term against a strong field. He said critics of his 2013 campaign successfully portrayed him as someone who supports development even though he has never been a developer and has long supported efforts to protect open lands.
“I was painted as the pro-developer and the developer . . . I let my critics characterize me,” he acknowledged.
His tenure on the City Council has involved wide-ranging duties working with organizations outside of City Hall. They include the Mountain Accord that considered the future health of the Wasatch Mountain region, the Central Wasatch Commission that is following the Mountain Accord efforts and a group considering federal wilderness protections in the region. He also is on the board of directors of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, which represents local governments, and he serves on an Environmental Protection Agency board providing input about regulations from the perspective of local government.
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Park City officials have scheduled an event on Monday designed to introduce the possibilities of a workforce or otherwise restricted housing development in the southern reaches of Old Town. It is a gathering that is planned early in the discussions about the prospects for ground along Marsac Avenue.