Park City prepares for Campaign 2017
City Hall outlines important dates, eligibility
City Hall is preparing for Campaign 2017 nearly two months before it begins.
Park City has posted preliminary information about the election on the municipal website, offering some details as well as an election-themed interview with a member of the Park City Council whose seat is not on the ballot this year.
The election does not officially start until the opening of the filing window, when someone is able to file candidate paperwork at City Hall. The filing window runs from June 1 until June 7. There is usually an increasing amount of chatter about candidates in the weeks before the opening of the filing window, and in many cases some candidates have already publicized their intentions prior to the opening of the window.
The mayor’s office and the two City Council seats held by Cindy Matsumoto and Tim Henney are on the ballot. Mayor Jack Thomas and Matsumoto have not publicized their intentions while Henney has said he will most likely seek re-election. Henney has said there is a possibility he would campaign the mayor’s office if the incumbent does not seek re-election.
The campaign information was posted on the municipal website as part of City Hall’s newsletter for April. It offers information and comments from Michelle Kellogg, who is the election official at City Hall, and first-term City Councilor Becca Gerber.
Kellogg provides some of the mechanics of a City Hall election, including an important rundown of eligibility. To seek elected office inside Park City, someone needs to be a U.S. citizen, a registered voter inside Park City and a Park City resident since at least Nov. 7, 2016.
The information also notes that someone should determine whether they live inside the Park City limits before they file campaign paperwork. There have been people who live in the Snyderville Basin turned away as they attempt to mount campaigns inside Park City based on their residency outside the Park City limits.
In another piece of information, Kellogg indicates someone cannot campaign for the mayor’s office and a City Council seat at once. The posting on the municipal website also provides information about campaign finance reporting, explaining that all contributions must be disclosed regardless of the amount and that donations that are anonymous are prohibited. It says campaign monies cannot be used to pay candidates or family members.
In her comments Gerber, whose City Council seat is not on the ballot again until 2019, discusses her inspiration to seek elected office, her preparations and the work of a City Councilor. Gerber says if people feel “passionately and have something to offer, you shouldn’t wait.”
“Life is unpredictable so, in other words, don’t wait to make a difference,” Gerber says in the posting.
The City Hall campaign is expected to center on long-standing political issues in Park City. It is likely the candidates will dwell on housing, transportation and other topics that are tied to growth in some fashion. It is not clear what sort of candidate interest there will be in 2017, and it seems likely some who are considering campaigns will wait until the incumbents decide whether they will seek re-election before finalizing their own plans.
Election Day is Nov. 7. The winners will be sworn into office for four-year terms in January. A primary would be held Aug. 15 in the mayoral campaign if more than two people seek the office. A City Council primary would be held that day if more than four people campaign.
Information about the campaign is available by contacting Kellogg at email@example.com or 615-5007. The preliminary information and the Gerber comments are available on the City Hall website, http://www.parkcity.org. Select the April Newsletter in the Latest News section on the front page.
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The Park City Council field is scheduled to appear together next week for the first time, gathering for a candidate forum that will be held as the primary election nears but also at a time when it seems the campaign itself has had difficulty seizing the attention of voters.