Park City manager removes herself from trademark meeting
Diane Foster, the Park City manager, removed herself from an important meeting on Wednesday between City Hall and Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts regarding the Colorado firm’s trademark application for the name “Park City” as it applies to a ski area.
Foster said in an interview the recusal decision was based on husband Hutch Foster’s position as the ski-patrol director on the Canyons Village side of PCMR. City Hall attorneys determined Foster’s marriage does not present a conflict of interest and she could have participated, she said.
“I did not want there to be any appearance of conflict,” the city manager said.
Foster said she has chosen not to participate in meetings with Vail Resorts or PCMR officials that are focused on the trademark dispute. She said she would continue to be involved in the trademark issue on an internal basis, such as preparing materials and assisting as strategy is crafted, and would also continue her involvement in other issues between City Hall and PCMR.
The City Hall representatives at the meeting on Wednesday, held at the Marsac Building, were Mayor Jack Thomas, City Councilor Andy Beerman and Matt Dias, who is the assistant city manager.
Foster addressed the situation during a City Council meeting on Thursday, describing her decision to remove herself from certain meetings. The City Council did not discuss her decision in any depth. City Councilor Cindy Matsumoto, though, said it might be important for Foster to be involved.
“I don’t know if that’s necessary,” Matsumoto said about Foster’s recusal.
Mayor praises peaceful protest
City Hall on Thursday issued a statement from the mayor that touched on a large demonstration on Wednesday by opponents of the trademark application.
Thomas also read the statement during the City Council meeting. The mayor’s statement, as issued by City Hall, follows:
“I want to extend my deepest thanks to all of the community members who participated in yesterday’s peaceful protest and for engaging in the public process. Public participation is a hallmark of Park City. Your time and commitment to participate in the conversation regarding Vail’s trademark application really does matter. Your voices are being heard. This is an issue of great concern, and the City Council shares your frustration and anxiety. I want to reassure the Park City community that we are holding firm.
“At this time, we are waiting for a counter proposal from Vail Resorts to our coexistence agreement, which I believe provides greater protections for local businesses and would help resolve local confusion – more than just ‘say no.’ The US Patent and Trademark Office has already approved our 60-day extension request to continue to negotiate with Vail. Any further decisions made by this Council on this matter will be made during a regularly scheduled Council meeting and include adequate opportunities for public input by residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. “
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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.