Park City investment banker, unsuccessful in mayoral bid, will apply for City Council opening
David Dobkin, who pressed radical budget concept, says he has the ‘same motivation’ to serve
Unsuccessful mayoral candidate David Dobkin said on Monday he will submit an application to fill a vacancy on the Park City Council that will be created when Mayor-elect Nann Worel ascends to mayor’s office.
Dobkin, an investment banker who lives in Deer Valley, was dropped by voters as the third-place finisher in the mayoral primary election in August. Worel and the incumbent mayor, Andy Beerman, cleared the primary election, outdistancing Dobkin by wide margins. But Dobkin, even as a newcomer to Park City politics, drew a streak of support from people displeased with the direction of City Hall.
Dobkin said he has the “same motivation” to be a member of the City Council as he had to be the mayor. He said serving on the City Council would be an opportunity to show his dedication to the community and his capabilities.
Dobkin moved to Park City in the spring of 2020 and was a part-time resident for years prior to arriving in the city on a full-time basis. He entered Park City politics with a campaign for mayor, an especially ambitious task for someone without a history of public service in the community and someone who lacks name recognition. Worel and Beerman are two of the best-known political figures in Park City, and it seemed likely early in the campaign that Dobkin would have difficulty topping either of them for a spot on the Election Day ballot.
Dobkin pressed a radical budget concept that called for the elimination of City Hall-levied property taxes on residences that are occupied on a full-time basis. He argued that category of taxes accounts for a small percentage of the overall City Hall budget and other savings could be found to make up the lost revenues.
If he is appointed, Dobkin would have influence on the municipal budget talks and could use the platform of a seat on the City Council to attempt to garner support from the other elected officials for a reworking of property taxes like the one he described during the mayoral bid.
Dobkin after the loss in the primary election said he may consider another campaign someday for either the mayor’s office or a City Council seat.
Dobkin leads an investment bank called LifeSci Capital, focused on the health care and biotech industries. He also runs a special purpose acquisition company that works in the same industries. He once worked for the New Zealand government assisting in that nation’s investments in the U.S.
Dobkin early in the mayoral campaign described his platform as pro-business, and he saw issues like transportation and the sustainability of the tourism industry as important. He also has described affordable housing as important and has said new thinking about transportation systems should be undertaken.
The municipal government will post a notice for applications for the vacancy once Worel resigns from the City Council or is sworn into office as the mayor. The remaining four members of the City Council will make the selection. The mayor would cast a vote in the event of a tie.
The partial term ends in early 2024 and the person selected would need to seek a full four-year term on the City Council in the 2023 campaign to remain in office.
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Park City Council members have directed staffers to continue working on a plan to develop affordable housing on a site 1 ½ miles south of City Hall on Marsac Avenue. Staffers are recommending the city release a request for proposals (RFP) to find interested entities to participate in a public-private partnership to build the project.