Park City mayoral primary: Will Andy Beerman, Nann Worel or David Dobkin be dropped?
Ballots expected to arrive soon as voters mull which candidate to eliminate next month
Park City voters within days are expected to receive ballots in the mail for the City Hall primary elections, balloting that will propel mayoral and Park City Council candidates to the fall contest as well as provide a look at where the political hopefuls stand after the early months of the campaign.
The mayor’s office and two seats on the City Council are on the ballot. The mayoral campaign greatly overshadows the City Council election, as is the case every four years, and involves two of the best-known elected officials in the community and a third candidate with limited experience in Park City issues.
Mayor Andy Beerman is seeking a second term in office. Two-term City Councilor Nann Worel is challenging for the top elected post at the Marsac Building. David Dobkin, an investment banker who moved to the city a little more than a year ago, is also a candidate for the mayor’s office.
Beerman wants to win a second term with a platform stressing City Hall priorities like equity and housing. Worel wants more transparency at City Hall and a welcoming environment for diverse opinions. Dobkin is campaigning on a pro-business platform involving issues like transportation and the sustainability of the tourism industry.
It is difficult to gauge the campaign with there having been a limited amount of politicking and without the candidates appearing together in a debate. The only time they were in the same room during a public event was a recent City Council meeting centered on a hotly disputed City Hall concept to build a facility to store silver mining-era contaminated soils along the S.R. 248 entryway. Dobkin was in the audience but did not testify while Beerman and Worel spoke about the topic from the dais.
Beerman and Worel are pinning their hopes on their records as elected officials, covering a broad range of issues like their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, traffic fighting and growth policies, in addition to their vision for the community. Dobkin will likely need to tap into any voter displeasure with City Hall to advance against two formidable elected officials.
There are eight candidates vying for one of two City Council seats on the ballot in November. The primary election will reduce the field to the four who will compete in the fall. Incumbent City Councilor Tim Henney is seeking a third term. The other City Council candidates are:
• Thomas Purcell, the head coach of the Park City High School boys basketball team
• Jamison Brandi, a service industry worker
• Jeremy Rubell, a business strategy and technology consultant
• Michael Franchek, a sustainable design and construction professional who considers himself to be a government watchdog
• John Greenfield, a business owner who is also an attorney
• Daniel Lewis, who works for Park City Film and as a bartender
• Tana Toly, who is an officer with the Historic Park City Alliance and a member of the Park City Historic Preservation Board
The primary election will be conducted through mail-in balloting. The ballots were expected to be sent from a printing firm in Seattle on Tuesday and are set to begin arriving on Friday. Summit County Clerk Eve Furse said there had not been a marked increase in voters seeking to register as the primary neared. As of Monday, she said, there were 6,085 active registered voters inside the Park City limits.
The postmark deadline for returning ballots is Aug. 9. The primary election itself is the next day. Voters may also leave the ballots in boxes. Some of the box locations will include the Marsac Building, the Summit County Library branch in Coalville, the Summit County Library branch in Kamas, the Summit County Library branch at Kimball Junction, the People’s Health Clinic on Round Valley Drive, The Market at Park City and Fresh Market at Jeremy Ranch. Furse wants voters to keep the ballot with the envelope that arrived in the same mailing and said the voter must sign the envelope.
Someone may register to vote through the day of the primary election. Registration that day is limited to a polling place. Registration until July 30 is available online or in person at the County Clerk’s Office in Coalville.
More information about the Park City election is posted on the municipal website. The direct link is: parkcity.org/government/election-information.
There is also a mayoral primary in Coalville and city council primaries in Coalville and Oakley.
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The field in the Park City Council primary election briefly addressed the Black Lives Matter mural that was put on Main Street in 2020, an indication there continues to be simmering emotions about the polarizing work and the process that led to the creation of the mural.