Park City mayor readies a State of the City address heavy on recovery, rebuilding and reimagining after difficult year
Andy Beerman wants to reinvigorate community vision as the area moves ‘out of crisis mode’
In early March of 2020, a crowd gathered at the Santy Auditorium to listen to Mayor Andy Beerman deliver his State of the City address.
He covered many of the key issues in the community as he spoke about the successes, showing slides touting City Hall priorities like housing, social equity and transportation.
Early in the address, he mentioned there was concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus. He told the crowd officials that night took extra measures like wiping the room down.
“We urge some caution, but at this point I think we don’t want any hysteria,” Beerman told the crowd before moving into topics that drove the community conversation at that time.
Beerman’s State of the City address in 2020 was given just before the spread of the sickness became devastating. Within weeks, the spread of the coronavirus forced an end to the 2019-2020 Park City ski season several weeks early and sent the area economy reeling as a wide swath of the critical tourism industry was temporarily shuttered.
A year later, after the Park City area became an early coronavirus hotspot in the state before the community mounted an impressive public health and economic comeback, Beerman is readying to deliver another State of the City address.
The mayor, who is in his final year of his first term and has not indicated whether he will seek reelection in November, will speak on Tuesday in a largely virtual State of the City address. He will return to the Santy Auditorium for the address with just some members of the Park City Council and several City Hall staffers in attendance as officials continue to limit the size of gatherings with the coronavirus still spreading.
“The recovery phase will hopefully start in the second half of 2021,” Beerman said in an interview previewing the upcoming State of the City address.
The mayor said the year will be marked by “recovery,” “rebuilding” and “reimagining.” He also said he wants to move ahead with a long-term vision that was crafted by the community in the months before coronavirus struck. He said he hopes for a “reinvigoration of the Vision 2020 as we move out of crisis mode.”
Beerman said he will also highlight some of the successes of 2020, including progress on transportation like expanding the fleet of buses powered by electricity and planning for a bus route along S.R. 248. He said movement on workforce or otherwise restricted housing, such as the Woodside Park development, and a groundbreaking on a solar-power project in Tooele involving City Hall and the County Courthouse were among the highlights of 2020.
The State of the City address is designed to be interactive. Beerman said viewers will be asked to answer polling questions in real time. The event will offer the ability to chat with officials online during the remarks.
The event could draw wider interest from the community since it will be held at such an important time with the coronavirus still spreading. Park City, meanwhile, is in the middle of the first-ever socially distanced ski season and there are talks ongoing about the summer-tourism season, which is expected to again be heavily influenced by the spread of the sickness.
Beerman has regularly spoken publicly about the impact of the coronavirus on the community over the last 11 months, but the comments have generally been given during City Hall meetings or City Hall-sponsored online events. A State of the City address, in contrast, is designed to attract a broader audience as an overarching agenda for the next year is outlined.
The State of the City address is scheduled on Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. It will be shown on Zoom and online. City Hall says attendees who want to vote in real-time polls that will be taken during the event must watch on Zoom.
The links to the event are:
• Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/ParkCityGovt
An Après with Council is planned online from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Zoom. The link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87101363479.
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Daniel Lewis, an Old Town resident who unsuccessfully sought a spot on the Park City Council in 2019, said this week he will mount another campaign this year.