Park City Council field offers eclectic candidate slate
There are just four in the contest, not enough for a primary
THE PARK RECORD
One person submitted campaign paperwork Wednesday to compete in the Park City Council campaign, not enough to force a primary contest between the four candidates seeking a seat on the City Council.
Mark Blue waited until the afternoon on the last day of the window when candidates could file paperwork at the Marsac Building. The other City Council candidates are incumbent Tim Henney, Park City Planning Commissioner Steve Joyce and Josh Hobson, who is an environmental activist and a chef.
Blue has sought a City Council seat five previous times, starting in 2001. He lost four elections and ended the other campaign early. He has never garnered significant voter support. His previous campaigns have pressed issues like combating speeding vehicles, enforcing rules regulating construction sites and recycling. He has also addressed broader issues like growth that City Council candidates in Park City have needed to include in platforms for years.
The City Council field, though not large enough to force a primary, offers an eclectic slate of candidates. Henney will draw support from people who see City Hall as a high-performing government entity as he seeks re-election to a second term. Joyce, a detail-oriented Planning Commissioner, could be attractive to voters who see growth and development as the top issues. Hobson’s candidacy could intrigue the many green-minded voters in Park City. Blue will need to significantly broaden his appeal from the past campaigns to secure one of the two seats on the ballot.
City Councilor Cindy Matsumoto opted to retire from public service, creating one seat without an incumbent seeking re-election.
The City Council campaign will likely remain in the background through the summer as a result of the lack of a primary election. The mayoral campaign between City Councilor Andy Beerman, former Mayor Dana Williams and Roger Armstrong, who is a member of the Summit County Council, requires a primary in August to reduce the field to two for Election Day in November. The mayoral campaign is expected to be a highly charged affair and will likely overshadow the City Council campaign through the voting in November.
The City Council candidates are expected to address a series of topics during the campaign like the related issues of growth and traffic as well as the post-recession busyness of the community, environmental progress and the resort-based economy. It appears the topics will be similar to those of recent City Hall campaigns.
It was unclear as the filing window approached what sort of candidate field the City Council election would draw. There was very little chatter in political circles about the City Council campaign even as Matsumoto announced her intention not to seek re-election. Much of the political talk in the weeks and even months before the filing window centered on the mayoral campaign as City Hall watchers wondered whether Mayor Jack Thomas would run for re-election. His retirement announcement immediately spurred talk of whether Williams would attempt to return to the mayor’s office and whether Beerman would mount a second bid for Park City’s highest office after an unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2013.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.