Park City Council seat goes to a real estate agent and Basin planning panelist (updated)
Ryan Dickey selected for a rare midterm appointment from a wide-ranging field
A real estate agent who also owns a homeowners association management business and serves on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission earned a midterm appointment to the Park City Council on Thursday night, winning the selection from a field of 17 to take the seat vacated by Mayor Nann Worel as she took office.
Ryan Dickey’s swearing-in date was not set during the meeting on Thursday, but he is expected to ascend to the City Council shortly.
The City Council unanimously voted for Dickey’s appointment after receiving lengthy testimony from the public in support of several of the candidates.
It seemed that Dickey and Laura Suesser, who is a member of the Park City Planning Commission, emerged as the two finalists during the discussion. A Planning Commission background appeared to be of interest as the city councilors spoke about the field.
City Councilor Max Doilney said the selection was the most difficult decision he has made as an elected official. He noted that a better relationship is needed between the municipal government and the County Courthouse as he explained his support of Dickey’s appointment.
City Councilor Becca Gerber, who made the motion to nominate Dickey, also spoke of regional collaboration in her support for him.
The midterm appointment expires in early 2024. Dickey would need to seek a full four-year term in the City Hall election in 2023 to remain in office.
The selection of a member of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission over someone serving on the Planning Commission in Park City is an intriguing culmination to the City Hall election, when voters installed a new mayor and two new members of the City Council.
Worel early in the year was sworn into office as the mayor, creating the opening on the City Council that Dickey filled. Once Dickey is sworn into office, four of the six elected seats in Park City, including three of the five City Council spots, will be held by newcomers to their posts.
In selecting Dickey, the members of the City Council hope someone with experience in the Summit County government can assist as City Hall and the County Courthouse attempt to reinvigorate their relationship. There have been tensions between the two in recent years, most notably in matters related to transportation that resulted in a split in the transit system.
But the decision can also be politically risky. Many inside Park City for decades have seemed to see the Snyderville Basin as a hodgepodge of sprawling residential and commercial development on the border of a municipality they consider to have more deftly managed growth.
Dickey’s application for the City Council seat highlights his experience in planning issues, the relationship with the Summit County government and connections in Park City. He said in the application the City Council “serves a leadership role in Park City that extends beyond the day-to-day business of the city.”
“Council members should continually communicate with constituents both formally and at a grass-roots level, to understand resident needs, craft the city’s vision for the future, and explain actions taken by the Council,” he said. “An effective Council seeks to lead citizens to an understanding, if not a consensus, around the way it evolves city policies to achieve its goals.”
Dickey in his application listed affordable housing, regional collaboration and what he describes as “major development planning” at the base areas of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort as key issues.
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