Park City election, a standard-fare political event, nears its end |

Park City election, a standard-fare political event, nears its end


Park City voters on Tuesday will head to the polls to elect three members of the City Council, ending a campaign that started with a bit of intrigue in the summer before unfolding in the fall as a standard-fare political event in the city.

The candidate field of six people includes just one incumbent. The winners will be sworn into office for four-year terms in early January. The candidates are:

  • Andy Beerman, an incumbent City Councilor seeking a second term who lives in Old Town. Beerman and his wife are the principal owners and managers of the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street.
  • Becca Gerber, a member of City Hall’s Recreation Advisory Board and an Old Town resident. Gerber. Gerber is the director of sales and marketing for Aloha Ski & Snowboard.
  • Hope Melville, a member of the Park City Historic Preservation Board and an Old Town resident. Melville is a retired attorney and was a chemical engineer early in her career.
  • Rory Murphy, a Prospector resident who once served on the Park City Planning Commission. Murphy is a developer whose work has included Silver Star and the project that was built as Empire Pass.
  • Dan Portwood, a Park Meadows resident without government experience. He is the director of administrative services for Nutraceutical.
  • Nann Worel, a member of the Planning Commission who lives in Solamere. Worel is the executive director of the People’s Health Clinic.

    Portwood is the only candidate who does not have experience of some sort at City Hall.

    Two incumbents whose City Council seats are on the ballot Dick Peek and Liza Simpson did not seek re-election. The mayor’s office and the City Council seats held by Tim Henney and Cindy Matsumoto are not on the ballot this year.

    It is difficult to gauge this year’s campaign. There was not a primary election that would have provided an indication of the standings heading into the fall. There was initially scheduled to be a primary, but enough candidates dropped their bids to eliminate the need for one. Two people who filed campaign paperwork during the summer filing window later withdrew. One of them, Josh Hobson, ended his campaign after it was determined he lived just outside the Park City limits and was not eligible to seek elected office inside the city. Mark Blue, meanwhile, ended his campaign based on an unexpected family issue.

    The cancellation of the primary election, which would have been held in August, pushed the politicking back by weeks if not longer. The campaign season this year largely occurred in October as the candidates participated in a series of forums, held their own events and engaged in door-to-door politics.

    The candidates spent time on a range of issues like growth, transportation and the economy. There was not an overriding campaign issue, though, as there has been during past City Hall elections. Over the last decade some campaigns have stressed individual issues like Park City’s economy, particularly during the recession, and the proposed Treasure development.

    The campaign this year touched on numerous issues. The candidates discussed housing ideas, plans to address traffic and environmental proposals. They participated in a series of campaign forums in recent weeks, describing their backgrounds and addressing a variety of topics depending on the interests of the group that organized the event. There did not appear to be wide gaps between the candidates on the overarching issues, but they differed on some of their detailed ideas or proposals.

    Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. People who live in Old Town and Deer Valley vote at the Marsac Building. People who live in the rest of Park City cast ballots in the Eccles Center lobby at Park City High School.

    Voters must bring a government-issued photo identification with proof of residency, such as a driver license, a passport or a concealed-weapon permit. If the identification lists a previous address, proof of the current address must be provided, such as a utility bill or an insurance card. If someone does not have photo identification, two documents must be presented showing the current address. More information is available on the City Hall website. The direct link is:

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