Park City’s mild-mannered campaign enters final stretch
The Park City Council election, one of the most mild-mannered campaigns of the past 20-plus years, enters the final phase as the ballots are sent this week in the vote-by-mail contest.
There are three seats on the ballot — those currently held by Nann Worel, Becca Gerber and Lynn Ware Peek. Six candidates are competing for a City Council spot. Worel, who is a former not-for-profit executive, and Gerber, a marketing director, are seeking reelection and were the top two vote-getters during an August primary election. Peek opted against seeking a full first term after a midterm appointment.
The others on the ballot are:
• Max Doilney, who is a businessman
• Ed Parigian, a member of the Recreation Advisory Board at City Hall and an Old Town activist
• Deanna Rhodes, who is a community organizer
• Daniel Lewis, an event organizer
The winners will be sworn into office in early January for four-year terms.
Worel topped the field in the primary election and was closely followed by Gerber. The two incumbents each beat the other candidates in the primary by at least 400 votes. It seems that it will be difficult for any of the challengers to unseat one of the incumbents so shortly after Worel and Gerber performed so well in the primary. If that is the case, the other four candidates could be competing for the third-place slot on Election Day rather than attempting to topple Worel or Gerber.
The campaign has lacked the political uproar of many previous City Hall political contests. The candidates have generally agreed on the overarching issues like growth, traffic, affordability and housing, but they have offered their own ideas to address those issues. There has also been general agreement with the overriding City Hall work plan.
The challengers, meanwhile, did not at least outwardly politicize the recent departure of Park City Manager Diane Foster from the Marsac Building and the planned November departure of Community Development Director Anne Laurent. The moves involved two high-level municipal staffers, and they were announced within days of each other as the campaign entered the crucial final weeks.
The Summit County Clerk’s Office is managing the vote-by-mail election on behalf of City Hall. The ballots were scheduled to be sent from the Seattle printing firm on Tuesday. County Clerk Kent Jones said on Monday the ballots are expected to arrive starting this weekend.
The ballots have a postmark deadline of Nov. 4. Ballots may also be turned in at a drop box with a deadline of 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, the date of the election. The drop boxes will be placed at the Marsac Building and The Market at Park City.
Jones projected approximately 40% of the registered voters in Park City will cast a ballot. Turnout in the primary election was 28.8%. Voters needed to drop just one candidate in the primary to reduce the field to six for Election Day.
Anyone with questions about the balloting or people who are registered voters and do not receive a ballot may contact the Summit County Clerk’s Office at 615-3204.
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At a town hall Tuesday, Park City Councilor Max Doilney, Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber, and Wasatch County Councilor Kendall Crittenden asked Hideout to delay its vote until after a special session of the Legislature anticipated to begin Aug. 20.