Park City Council candidates: crusaders for the work force? |

Park City Council candidates: crusaders for the work force?

People in their 20s and 30s prepare to question the politicians

by Jay Hamburger

The Park City Council candidates on Monday are scheduled to appear together for the first forum of the campaign season, an opportunity for them to spotlight their platforms after being overshadowed by the mayoral contest for months.

An organization known as the Park City Action Network, which promotes issues important to young adults, is slated to host the event. The organization said three of the candidates – Tim Henney, Steve Joyce and Mark Blue — will appear in person while the other candidate, Josh Hobson, will appear via a video conference.

Henney is an incumbent member of the City Council seeking a second term in office. Joyce is a member of the Park City Planning Commission. Hobson is an environmental activist. Blue has campaigned repeatedly for a City Council seat.

The candidate event on Monday is scheduled three months after the campaign began with the opening of the filing window. Just four people submitted paperwork to seek a City Council seat, not enough to force a primary election. The City Council candidates since then have pressed ahead with their individual campaigns, but Park City voters instead appeared to be most interested in the mayoral primary that was held in August. The next two months are expected to involve heavy politicking by the mayoral and City Council candidates.

The Park City Action Network stresses issues important to people in their 20s and 30s, a demographic seen as less active in City Hall-level politics than older age groups. A representative of the group Heleena Sideris, said the Park City Action Network will ask two or three introductory questions on Monday followed by questions submitted by the audience.

Sideris said she anticipates the candidates will be asked to address issues like housing and the work force. The two issues are closely tied as rank-and-file workers in Park City struggle to secure affordable housing in the state’s most expensive real estate market. Sideris said the crowd will want to learn how a candidate will be a “crusader for the work force.”

“We’re looking to feel empowered,” Sideris said about people in their 20s and 30s.

The candidate answers will be intriguing as the field attempts to woo support from the demographic. Park City’s elected leaders for years have stressed work force or otherwise affordable housing, but many see only limited progress as rank-and-file workers commute from places like the Salt Lake Valley, the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County. Each of the candidates appears to support the overarching ideal of housing, but there will likely be differences as they address the topic nonetheless. It is not clear how detailed a housing discussion would be. Candidates appearing at forums usually provide broad answers in support of an issue like housing but only sometimes reveal details such as possible locations and pricing.

The event is open to the public but designed for people in their 20s and 30s. It is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on the rooftop seating area of the No Name Saloon on Main Street.

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