Park City Council field carved to four, turnout sparse |

Park City Council field carved to four, turnout sparse

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Four Park City Council candidates on Tuesday advanced to Election Day in November, finishing a primary season that lacked intensity and failed to excite a large number of voters.

The candidates who will appear on the ballot in November are:

  • Alex Butwinski, a first-term incumbent who led the field on Tuesday with 270 votes
  • Mary Wintzer, with 259 votes. Wintzer is a member of the Park City Board of Adjustment, is a business person and has real estate interests in the Iron Horse district.
  • Cindy Matsumoto, another incumbent seeking a second term, with 233 votes
  • Tim Henney, with 211 votes. Henney is a member of the Park City Citizens Open Space Advisory Committee. He is a real estate investor and manager.

    Parkites showed little interest in the two other candidates on the ballot. Lisa Wilson garnered 41 votes while Bill McKenna was selected by 30 voters.

    The results do not include provisional or some absentee ballots, which could add the selections of upward of 55 voters to the tally. The order of the finishers could change, but there are not enough provisional or absentee ballots to propel either Wilson or McKenna onto the ballot in November.

    Turnout was sparse at 581 voters, or 10.6 percent of the people who could have cast a ballot on Tuesday.

    The City Council will finalize the numbers during a canvass of the votes. The canvass is not scheduled, but it must be completed by Aug. 27.

    It is difficult to handicap the upcoming City Council campaign based on the primary results, particularly with the low turnout on Tuesday. The four who advanced to Election Day were tightly grouped, with 59 votes separating the first-place finisher from the fourth-place one, not including the ballots that had not been counted. Turnout is expected to be higher in November, making significant swings in the numbers possible on Election Day.

    There will likely be a lull in the campaign over the next few weeks followed by a quick start to the fall push toward Election Day. City Hall elections typically start in earnest on Labor Day, as candidates march in the Miners Day parade.

    The mayoral candidates — City Councilman Andy Beerman and Planning Commissioner Jack Thomas — have also entered the fray after spending weeks out of the spotlight. There were not enough mayoral hopefuls to force a primary election.

    The candidates are expected to address a range of issues in the fall. The economy and growth will almost certainly be among the most heavily debated topics as the field outlines plans to continue what has been a robust exit from the recession for Park City. The candidates will likely spend time on the Treasure development proposal, the future of the Bonanza Park district and transportation.

    Wilson, one of the two candidates who did not advance out of the primary, said in an interview she learned the time commitment needed of a City Councilor was greater than she anticipated when she started her campaign. She acknowledged that she considered ending her bid prior to the primary. She said she did not run an "active campaign."

    She said she campaigned in an effort to publicize her concerns about calculations used to determine the amount of land that is left undeveloped in a project site and the impact on property taxes. Wilson said she plans to work with others to form a political-action committee focused on the topic. The political-action committee could be started as early as the fall, she said.

    "It was an awareness campaign. It’s a start. It’s only the beginning," Wilson said.

    McKenna, the other candidate ousted from the field on Tuesday, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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