Park City ballot, one of the most eclectic in years, finalized
Mayoral contest, as expected, greatly overshadows City Council election
The candidate slate for the Park City elections was finalized on Monday, offering voters one of the most eclectic City Hall ballots in recent years and forcing primaries in the mayoral and Park City Council contests.
The mayor’s office is the top prize in 2021. The incumbent mayor, Andy Beerman, is seeking a second term. The challengers are Nann Worel, who is a member of the City Council, and investment banker David Dobkin.
Beerman and Worel are two of the top political names in the community, and each of them has a record at City Hall. Beerman served as a member of the City Council prior to his mayoral victory four years ago while Worel was a Park City planning commissioner before her election as a city councilor. Beerman rose from the lodging industry and the Main Street business community. Worel’s background includes not-for-profit work. Dobkin lacks name recognition in Park City and has lived in the community for a little more than a year after describing himself as a part-time resident for years.
The incumbent and Worel are expected to point to their records at the Marsac Building and highlight contrasting styles as they vie for votes. Dobkin, though, will likely need to somehow become a recognizable figure in a matter of weeks for him to expect to challenge the other two for a spot on the November ballot. The people who have served as the mayor in recent decades have each won the top political office in Park City after having achieved some level of prominence in the community prior to their campaigns.
Beerman is seeking reelection on a platform that includes issues like combating climate change, transit, housing, equity and the efforts to host a second Winter Olympics. Worel says she wants to increase transparency and collaboration in City Hall processes. Dobkin has described his platform as pro-business and has touted his dealmaking experience.
The campaign is expected to key on traditional City Hall election issues like growth, traffic, the economy and housing. The issues, seen as related to each other, have perplexed Park City leaders for decades and have been some of the overriding election issues since the 1980s. The candidates are also expected to address the economic recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The mayor’s office in the Park City form of government lacks the power it has in some other cities, but the person who holds the office has broad influence over the government nonetheless. The mayor often is one of the lead negotiators for City Hall on a wide range of issues, runs City Council meetings and has ceremonial duties.
There are also two City Council seats on the ballot, currently held by Tim Henney and Steve Joyce. Henney is seeking reelection while Joyce is retiring from the City Council. The rest of the City Council field is one of the least conventional groups of candidates in years. The challengers are:
• Michael Franchek
• Daniel Lewis
• Tana Toly
• Jeremy Rubell
• Thomas Purcell
• John Greenfield
• Jamison Brandi
Primary elections are scheduled on Aug. 10 to reduce the mayoral and City Council fields for Election Day in November. Two mayoral candidates and four City Council candidates will advance out of the primary election. The winners in November will be sworn into office for four-year terms in early 2022.
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A member of the Summit County Council engaged Park City officials as tensions continued regarding a City Hall concept to build a facility to store materials containing silver mining-era contaminants along the S.R. 248 entryway. Roger Armstrong has emerged as one of the high-profile critics of the efforts to build a facility known as a repository.