Park City man publicly apologizes for election-season bullying claim
Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council recently received a public apology from a man who accused an unnamed elected official of bullying during the tense weeks before voters went to the polls to decide a highly controversial Park City School District ballot measure.
Bill Humbert, a Park Meadows resident, appeared at a City Council meeting in September to read a prepared statement that included the bullying accusation and criticism of the ballot measure itself.
Humbert at the time said he is a professional expert on bullying in the workplace and speaks about the topic. He summarized a conversation he claimed he heard between a member of the City Council and a Park City Board of Education member at the Miners Day festivities in early September.
Humbert described a City Councilor advising a School Board member to just tell "the voters that either you pass the bond or we will simply levy taxes on your property and it will cost you more." He refused to identify the City Councilor.
Humbert also said a conversation like the one he described could cause voters to "rise up and truly become engaged "or it "completely destroys public engagement and this community dies as a community."
Voters on Election Day rejected the School District ballot measure, which was pegged at $56 million and meant to fund a series of construction projects.
Humbert returned to the elected officials at a recent meeting to apologize for the earlier comments. He told the mayor and City Council he would not "blindside" them again.
In an interview, Humbert said in the future he would send an email to the elected officials describing his concerns prior to appearing in person at a City Council meeting.
"Just so they’re not sitting there slack-jawed," Humbert said.
He said he stands by the statements he made at the earlier meeting. The apology was based on the setting in which he broached the topic, he said.
Humbert said he cast a vote against the School District ballot measure.
The mayor in an interview said the apology was unnecessary.
"I’m appreciative of anybody who’s got the nerve to step forward and tell us what they think," Thomas said.
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A Main Street business owner said the timing of the message was frustrating.