Park City mayor-elect will enter office after tensions with city councilors about murals, soils facility
Two of the other elected officials publicly denounced incoming leader, supported opponent during campaign
Just days before the Park City mayoral primary election in August, when voters would whittle the field to two for Election Day in November, two members of the Park City Council dramatically entered the politicking.
City Councilors Becca Gerber and Max Doilney, whose seats were not on the ballot this year, drafted an opinion piece that was published in The Park Record targeting Nann Worel, another member of the City Council. Worel, who was one of the candidates in the mayoral primary, earlier had raised questions about City Hall process and transparency in her own piece published in The Park Record, and Gerber and Doilney challenged her with their comments. There were especially worries at that moment about the processes that led to the creation of social justice murals on Main Street in 2020 and the concept to build a facility to store contaminated soils along the S.R. 248 entryway. Gerber and Doilney essentially confronted Worel in the piece, especially in the final sentences.
“We value our good working relationship with our fellow councilors but, in this case, we felt our integrity had been questioned, events had been skewed and our staff was misrepresented. We find it disingenuous and misleading to the public to suggest that we are not acting transparently. There are no hidden agendas at City Hall, just goals set by our community. We look forward to continuing to serve with transparency and integrity,” the two city councilors wrote.
Worel won the primary election and, on Election Day on Tuesday, defeated the incumbent mayor, Andy Beerman. She is scheduled to take office in early 2022. Gerber and Doilney supported Beerman in his unsuccessful reelection bid.
The opinion piece written by Gerber and Doilney was a rare episode of elected officials inside Park City publicly denouncing another one. One section was accusatory as they wrote “For Nann to suggest that Andy curtailed any discussion or direction is not true.”
Three months later, and with Worel becoming the mayor-elect on Tuesday, the piece raises questions about the working relationship the incoming mayor will have with two of the members of the five-person City Council. Gerber and Doilney will have two years left on their terms when Worel takes the oath of office.
Although Worel will ascend to the mayor’s office from the City Council, where she served alongside the two others, the dynamics between them after the swearing-in ceremony are difficult to forecast. Gerber and Doilney, meanwhile, will be outnumbered on the City Council by newcomers with the Election Day wins of City Councilors-elect Tana Toly and Jeremy Rubell, and the pending selection of someone to serve the remaining two years of the term Worel will vacate to take the mayor’s office.
Worel after Election Day said in an interview that Gerber and Doilney sent text messages expressing a desire to work with her as the mayor.
Doilney in an interview said he supported Beerman’s reelection bid based on the incumbent’s work during the term and added a Beerman victory on Tuesday would have resulted in Worel remaining a member of the City Council. He sees Worel as a mentor as well as a colleague, noting her knowledge of growth and development issues from her time as a member of the Park City Planning Commission. He said he informed Worel in advance that he planned to support Beerman in the election.
“That was the best way to get both of them,” he said, adding, “I let her know that.”
Doilney said he wants to have a meeting with the mayor-elect shortly and said he anticipates the two will work together.
“Elections are elections and legislating is legislating,” he said.
The Park Record was unable to contact Gerber.
With more bicyclists hitting the pathways in Park City, the municipality recently installed crossing gates to increase safety at several locations.
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