Mayor-elect Jack Thomas: voters reaffirmed Park City values
Jack Thomas, a Park Meadows architect and member of the Park City Planning Commission, won the mayor’s office on Tuesday, defeating City Councilman Andy Beerman in a campaign that touched on topics like the middle class, growth and the economy.
Thomas tallied 962 votes to Beerman’s 829, according to the preliminary results released the night of the election. The numbers do not include 44 provisional ballots that have not been counted. There is also the possibility of City Hall elections officials receiving an unknown number of absentee ballots. Thomas took 53.7 percent of the vote to Beerman’s 46.3 percent.
A canvass is planned Nov. 19. Precinct-level results will be released at that time. Turnout was 34.1 percent.
"What it means to the town is that we’ve just reaffirmed the values we unequivocally stated in our visioning process," Thomas said, referring to a lengthy exercise during which Parkites helped craft ideas for the city’s future.
Thomas said the win is "exhilarating." He said he will remain on the Planning Commission through the end of the year. He will be sworn into office as the mayor in early 2014.
Beerman said he was surprised with the results and said he ran a good campaign. He said Thomas will be a good mayor and has his support. Beerman, a first-term City Councilor, retains his City Council seat. He won the four-year term in 2011.
The Thomas-Beerman contest lacked intensity until the final few weeks, when the two of them attempted to clearly separate themselves from their opponent as the voting approached. Thomas will succeed the retiring three-term mayor, Dana Williams, who did not seek re-election. Williams endorsed Thomas.
Thomas will bring a detailed understanding of City Hall’s development processes to the mayor’s office after having served on the Planning Commission. He has said he desires more contemplative decision making at City Hall.
Park City voters also kept Cindy Matsumoto on the City Council for a second term and added Tim Henney, a trails advocate who works in real estate investment and management. Alex Butwinski, an incumbent, was denied a second term. Mary Wintzer, a businessperson with real estate interests in the Iron Horse district, was also left off the City Council.
The preliminary tally in the City Council campaign:
- Matsumoto, 875 votes
- Henney, 874 votes
- Butwinski, 783 votes
- Wintzer, 755 votes
Matsumoto did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Henney said in an interview he is thrilled with the results and is "flattered and honored" to be elected. He said he will pursue an agenda at City Hall meant for Park City’s middle class. Without a middle class, he said, Park City would be dramatically changed.
"That was not being talked about before I brought it up," he said about his desire for middle class housing, adding that the platform plank was one that resonated with voters.
Henney said he wants to introduce a measure that would require developers to meet a new middle class housing requirement in addition to the one already in place at City Hall requiring work force housing in some projects.
He also wants City Hall to combat congestion, saying that it is "a byproduct of poorly planned and executed growth."
Butwinski unsure what led to loss
Butwinski said in an interview he was not sure what led to his third-place finish on Tuesday. He took first place in the August primary.
"I honestly can’t answer the question how it could happen," Butwinski said.
His platform included economic development, regional collaboration and smart growth
He said he is "contributing significantly" to the municipal government. Butwinski said City Hall will lose his relationship with state leaders when his term ends in early January.
Butwinski said the City Hall workload before his term ends will include the General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth, and the Treasure development overlooking Old Town. He wants the redo of the General Plan completed.
He would also like to finalize a "detailed" set of ideas for Treasure, which could be formalized in a document like a memorandum of understanding between City Hall and the Treasure partnership. Some of the points would include how much development will be allowed at the Treasure site itself and where other development rights would be shifted toward.
Wintzer raised awareness
Wintzer said in an interview she brought attention to issues like "increased urbanization" in Park City.
"I think we raised awareness about issues going on in town people had not been paying attention to," she said.
Wintzer remains a member of the Park City Board of Adjustment. She said she plans to continue attending municipal meetings and said she wants to form neighborhood awareness groups throughout Park City, perhaps with a newsletter or an email tree.
"I felt very successful because I found out a lot of the things I was feeling about town resonated with a lot of the other citizens," Wintzer said.
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Deputies found Baird’s vehicle at a trailhead in the Sawtooth National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Ketchum.