DAN PORTWOOD | ParkRecord.com



Please describe how your background prepares you for a seat on the Park City Council.

My background as a long-time resident, a businessman and a devoted community member provide me with the unique qualifications to provide an important voice and perspective to the City Council. First and foremost, I care about this city and all the good people who live here and who visit! For the last 20 years I have lived, worked and raised my (6) six amazing children in Park City. For the last 15 years I have worked for the Nutraceutical Corporation, a publicly traded international company Headquartered in here. I understand the local educational system. I have had children in every grade. I understand the housing issues. I understand the local economy. I understand the traffic issues. I understand the economic development issues. I understand that Park City is a favorite destination and important investment for thousands of families who visit regularly. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in this community by outsiders and their voices are also an important component in our city hall decisions.

Many claim traffic has overwhelmed Park City in the years since the worst of the recession, culminating in a terrible traffic jam that stretched through much of the city on a day last December. Please describe what you see as the primary cause of the traffic problems in Park City. Identify one solution you would like implemented for the upcoming ski season and one long-term solution to traffic.

The solution for our traffic congestion should not be so complicated. The current roads can handle the traffic configurations, however we must increase inbound and outbound capacity on Routes 224 and 248 at critical times everyday. Traffic lights must be set to NOT slow the flow of traffic out of town at rush hours. There should be an extra lane available for morning and afternoon commuters. Route 224 should have (3) three lanes open out and Route 248 should have (2) two lanes open out. In order to avoid massive traffic jams after special events, law enforcement agencies and venue staff must coordinate the release and flow of traffic out of town. If necessary, open all intersections for the outbound traffic for a period of time. It almost appears like the traffic is being deliberately controlled to possibly make buses and other forms of transportation look appealing. Time to open the roads.

Design issues continue to be divisive in Old Town as City Hall weighs historic preservation against property owners’ wishes to redo and expand their places. Please rate the municipal government’s oversight of building designs in Old Town. Would you like the restrictions kept as is, loosened or tightened and why?

Sadly, the city has not been able to be consistent in managing historic preservation. Most efforts have provided mixed results. Certain homeowners were limited in what was allowed, while others have expanded and built much larger homes. There must be consistency. However, homeowners must be allowed to expand and improve their property within reason and boundaries set by their neighbors and peers. The city needs to play a role but must be transparent in what is approved and allowed.

Bonanza Park, for years envisioned as an up-and-coming district, has enjoyed only moderate success as competing interests tangled about the district’s future. What is your vision for Bonanza Park? Please discuss what you see as City Hall’s role and the private sector’s role in striving toward that vision. What do you see as the primary planning and development challenge in Bonanza Park?

Bonanza Park is perhaps the most important component in the heart of Park City. The property owners must be given more latitude in this process. City Hall must not be dictating but should be working with the owners to make certain this development gets completed quickly and nicely. Several sections of this property need to be improved now. It is in the entry corridor for everyone entering from the east. This needs to be developed quickly to demonstrate the city has the capacity to allow property owners and investors a reasonable return from their risks. Time and time again our city hall has forced new developments to spend years and excessive amounts of money to improve their property. This MUST stop. Developing our town is critically important to the economic viability of the businesses and residents.

City Hall has enjoyed a series of successes over the years in its work force or otherwise affordable housing programs, but Park City remains a difficult housing market for many. Should the municipal government continue to play an aggressive role in housing issues? If so, please identify one location where you would support a housing project that has not already been considered and describe what sort of project you envision? If not, please discuss why City Hall should scale back its efforts.

City Hall should not be an aggressive player in the housing market. The city should be working with the owners of existing units to upgrade and improve density. The city currently has 497 affordable housing units, according to the city website. Taxpayers should not be responsible to finance nor supply housing for employers. This is an investment of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds that should be used for developing economic growth and better paying employment. The city should be focused on improving opportunities for businesses to grow and expand. This will in turn improve the economic components needed to pay better wages. We are not like any other resort community. We are within a short driving distance of two large metropolitan areas. Attempting to have the city supply housing for massive numbers of seasonal workers is not realistic or necessary. Partnering to a small degree with businesses can helpful but should not be the rule.

Park City leaders want to diversify the economy from one that is heavily reliant on tourism and tourism-related industries such as construction. Please discuss what you see as the benefits of a diversified economy in place so dominated by one industry. Please outline one economic development initiative that you would propose during the next City Council term and how that jibes with Park City’s current economic mix.

Diversifying the economy will stabilize the business climate and make the city more desirable for residents. Will also improve the quality of the experience for visitors and guests. Improves the tax base and enhances city’s ability to provide services. The city must improve access to the town in order to diversify the economy. Working with UDOT to quickly improve inbound and outbound traffic flows are a serious component for this to occur. I would continue to build MUSIC and ARTS industries…which already have a foundation and are growing – Deer Valley Music Festival, other music and art-related industries (Sundance Institute, etc). The new film studio at Quinn’s junction and venues similar will bring much needed opportunities.

The Park City Planning Department, critical to many of City Hall’s long-term goals, has experienced a series of staff departures since the most recent municipal election, held in 2013. Please discuss whether the performance of the Planning Department has met the standard you expect from such an important section of the municipal government. If so, please cite an example. If not, please describe one change you want implemented.

This department has more pressure than any other in City Hall to accommodate the building, developing, and economic growth of an expanding city. Having and following plans proposed and pushed by political interest groups and parties is extremely difficult. Certainly this has been a force driving professional planners from Park City. I would like to change the way the master plans are other city proposals are made available to the community before actions are taken. An example is the city proposing to build affordable housing on the north Library field. The community filled city hall in protest. This was an example of the city government considering options that were very much disliked by the community.

It has been a little more than a year since Colorado-based Vail Resorts acquired Park City Mountain Resort with plans to link the property with Canyons Resort to create the largest mountain resort in the United States. Please discuss your opinion of Vail Resorts as a corporate citizen that operates in Park City. Please describe one positive impression you have of Vail Resorts and one negative one.

Bringing new life and connection to Park City as it links the resorts/shows how important Park City is in the future of the sports. Possible negative: not local and therefore may not understand the nuances and small-town feel that has made the town appealing and less commercial. Vail will be an extremely important partner in Park City’s future economic viability. They are experts in the winter sports business and bring this experience to our town. The Vail Resorts Corporate staff that I have had communications with have been extremely open and helpful. They recognize the spectacular community here and look forward to investing heavily into the local economy.

Broad issues like growth and traffic extend well outside the Park City limits, where other jurisdictions like Summit County and Wasatch County hold decision-making power. Please discuss the relationship you see City Hall as having with the outside governments. Please outline your opinion of the effectiveness of Summit County and Wasatch County as they plan for growth.

A strong, open, and cooperative relationship with Summit and Wasatch Counties is essential for the future growth and traffic surrounding Park City and for all associated communities. As a member of the city council, I will work tirelessly to assure all communities mutually benefit from actions proposed and taken. Currently, the efforts in Summit County to control growth and traffic have been unsuccessful. Kimball Junction is an example of overdevelopment and traffic gridlock. As a City government, we must be more involved with the county planning process to assure their actions and plans do not have such severe impacts on the city growth, traffic, and tax revenues.

Please differentiate yourself from your opponents.

I’m proud to be a running for City Council along with the other candidates that also share my passion for this City and its future. My vision is different and possibly much broader than my friends running. I am a 5-Star candidate. I am the only candidate that does not have ties to City Hall. These days that is rare and allows for me to have a FRESH and broader perspective. I am a problem solver. I am an excellent relationship builder. I care deeply for every person I know and meet. Most likely, when you meet me I will always remember you and be interested in what is important to you. As noted earlier, I have lived and worked in Park City for 20 years. Raised a family of amazing children with my wonderful wife and have been intimately involved in all aspects of this town and school system. My lovely and dear wife has actively been involved with the orchestra program in the Park City schools. The first strings program in the high school many years ago there were 5 students, 3 of the 5, were my children. Look at the hundreds who participate today! My work experience has allowed me to be very involved in real estate and managing valuable assets. I know and understand the complexities of large holdings and what it takes to maintain and preserve value. This town is a 5 Star community and needs to have a City Government that acts like it!

Park City

See more