October 21, 2015
Please describe how your background prepares you for a seat on the Park City Council.
My husband and I moved to Park City in 2007 and since that time I have devoted myself to becoming an active member of the community. I joined the staff of the People’s Health Clinic in 2008 where I remain as the Executive Director. I was appointed to the Park City Planning Commission in 2011 (my term ends in 2016) and served as Chair from 2013 to 2015. I have served on numerous local Boards including KPCW, Peace House and the Zions Bank Community Advisory Board. I was a member of Leadership Park City Class 15 and am a founding member of the Leadership Park City Alumni Association as well as the Women’s Giving Fund. Prior to moving to Park City, I proudly served as a Navy Nurse and had the privilege of caring for wounded warriors as they returned from Vietnam. While in the Navy, I earned a Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration and, upon discharge, was recruited to go to Birmingham, Al to repair an antagonistic relationship between the University of Alabama Hospitals and a local Health Department. My combined experiences have given me the leadership, decision making and consensus building skills necessary to be a strong and effective City Council member.
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.
I believe there is great potential for the City to work with lodging and the resorts during the upcoming ski season to provide incentives for visitors to take a shuttle from the airport rather than renting a car. In addition, employers should be incentivized to park their employees at the Richardson Flat Park and Ride and provide shuttle service into town. The very design of our community creates traffic issues—only two roads leading into town and an inadequate supply of housing options force much of the workforce to commute to work. Park and Ride lots with efficient public transportation are not available so, again, employees living in surrounding communities must use vehicles for their commute. Long term solutions will only be found in a regional traffic plan and I applaud the City for starting to work closely with Summit County to create such a plan. Major employers as well as Wasatch County also need to participate in the planning process because without their input and cooperation, any plan devised has little chance of success.
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?
Mistakes have been made in the past in regard to some projects that have been approved — the most recent example is 205 Main Street. It is critical that the City not only investigate how and why the mistakes were made but learn from them as well. I have heard from residents that the current permitting process for projects is confusing, arduous and arbitrary. I believe Park City can improve and streamline approvals/denials by ensuring that all applications receive a systematic, transparent, timely and fair evaluation. The recent hiring of new Community Development and Planning Directors are important first steps in redefining the approval process. Historic Design Guidelines and the Land Management Code are in place as the guiding documents to be used whenever a project is brought to the City for approval. The Planning Commission has identified some areas in the Land Management Code that need to be updated and is currently working with the Planning Staff to make those changes. In addition, the City needs to put "teeth" into conditions of approval for projects to ensure that the final built project is what was approved and remains in line with Historic Guidelines and the Land Management Code.
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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?
As a Planning Commissioner, I spent countless hours reviewing proposals for the redevelopment of Bonanza Park. The concept of Form Based Code was introduced, consultants were hired, plans were drawn for new roads and trails to improve connectivity in the area and zones were identified for various uses. The area has numerous stakeholders and, unfortunately, many were not brought to the table until late in the planning process. Through conversations with property owners and the public at large, it became obvious that Form Based Code was not appropriate for the area and the concept was dropped, leaving Bonanza Park in the quagmire it is today. The City has the responsibility to provide for realistic zoning for Bonanza Park that compliments the vision of our General Plan and moves forward in a process that makes fiscal and land planning sense with the leadership of the new Community Developer Director. What Bonanza Park becomes will be dependent upon intelligent planning that involves all stake holders.
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.
Park City has done an excellent job of protecting the open space that surrounds our town. In addition, by limiting height and density, view corridors have been preserved and our small town feel has been retained. However, by doing so, we physically don’t have enough land within our borders to meet the demand for housing. We cannot build our way out of our housing issues but instead must plan our way out. It’s time for City leaders and staff, in conjunction with major employers, non-profits, surrounding communities and informed citizens to develop a comprehensive, reality based long term plan for addressing housing issues. To maintain a vibrant community with a mix of demographics, it is critical that the plan include a variety of housing options available for purchase or rental as well as opportunities to leverage city funds. The plan must also include the availability of support services (such as affordable child care) necessary for a mixed demographic to thrive here. City owned parcels on which housing can be built have already been identified and in addition to that, I believe existing aging properties need to be included in the plan as potential sites for redevelopment as housing options.
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.
As the "Save Our Snow" initiative graphically demonstrated, the climate is changing and the ski areas we all enjoy in the winter will be impacted by forces of nature outside our control. Because Park City has limited land and housing opportunities available to recruit new businesses, it is critical that our City be proactive in planning for the future by working closely with the business community and County to support regional economic development efforts. Care must be taken to ensure that such efforts don’t compound existing traffic challenges. Park City is fortunate to have as residents current and retired executives of major worldwide corporations. I would like to see our City tap into that wealth of knowledge by assembling a task force from among their ranks to assist the City in exploring opportunities for diversifying the economy. There is no need to hire a consultant to help us find answers—the expertise already lives here so let’s tap into it!
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.
As a Planning Commissioner, I have had the opportunity to work alongside the Planning Department since 2011. They are a talented, dedicated team with a broad range of experience. Unfortunately, staff turnover and resulting understaffing of the department has left them scrambling just to keep up with existing permit applications. They have not had the time needed to truly engage in long term planning for the City. Needed Land Management Code revisions have many times been put on the back burner due to other demands on staff time. I am optimistic that the addition of the new Community Development Director and new Planning Director will allow current systems within the department to be evaluated for efficiency and restructured as needed. Doing so will free up the staff to do exactly what the title of their department demands—plan!
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.
When Vail first arrived in Park City, they reached out to local non-profits and sent a clear message that they wanted to be part of the community. Through their grant process, major impacts have been made on the lives of local children as well as the natural environment we all enjoy. On the recent City Tour to Breckenridge, Vail CEO Rob Katz acknowledged that, while Vail is in the business to make money, the communities in which the resorts are located are critical to their success. Without a vibrant community, visitors to the resorts will not have a good experience and want to return. In all dealings with Vail, I believe it is critical that Park City comes to the table fully aware that it is our sense of community that made Vail want to relocate here and we cannot allow it to be lost. There is potential that Vail will become a larger influence in the community than is appropriate and we need to guard our core values in every decision that is made regarding the resort and remember that we are first and foremost a community that happens to house their resort—not their resort community.
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.
We as Parkites often like to believe that we live in a bubble but the reality is that what happens outside of our municipal boundaries impacts what goes on inside of them. We cannot find solutions to growth and traffic related issues without working in partnership with both Summit and Wasatch counties. I am encouraged by recent joint planning efforts with Summit County as traffic and transportation challenges are addressed. The Park City Planning Commission met with the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission recently to discuss joint concerns and identified possible areas to work together. I believe there is great potential in such a partnership and that other opportunities for collaboration between the City and County need to be explored. The City’s relationship with Wasatch County is more challenging but equally important. As Wasatch County grows, our City needs to work closely with both the County government and city governments of Heber and Midway to identify common areas of concern and partner to find mutually beneficial long term solutions to issues. Park City certainly doesn’t have all the answers and needs to come to the table as a partner eager to find solutions to issues that challenge all of us.
Please differentiate yourself from your opponents.
I have been in the trenches for many years as a Navy Nurse, as a healthcare executive and as the Executive Director of one of Park City’s essential non-profits, the People’s Health Clinic. I am also a former Chair and current sitting member of the Park City Planning Commission and understand how our City operates. I have great respect for the insight and perspective informed citizens bring to the table through public input opportunities and look forward to being a responsive and informed member of the City Council. I value differing perspectives and it is critical to me that ALL residents of Park City feel that their voice is heard and that the City places their needs above those of visitors. Quarterly meetings between individual Council members and neighborhoods are an important first step in the process. Through my work and volunteer experiences as well as the opportunities I have had to live in culturally diverse parts of our country, I am a seasoned, thoughtful, diplomatic leader and strategic decision maker, all of which are essential traits of effective Park City Council members. As a leader in the non-profit community, I am a proven consensus builder and collaborator between parties that at first glance have no common ground. My work at the People’s Health Clinic has given me a unique glimpse into the diversity–and generosity–of our community. We are privileged to live in this community so please join me as TOGETHER we resolve the issues facing us.
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