Past accomplishments set her apart, Elliott claims
October 7, 2008
A former Park City councilwoman and veteran Summit County commissioner, Parkite Sally Elliott says she is campaigning this year on her experience.
"I’ve knocked on 1,000 doors already," the Democrat said in an interview Monday in Park City. "I love to campaign, it’s the way that you connect with voters who might not otherwise show up at public hearings."
The 64-year-old is running against Woodland Republican Bill Miles for seat A on the new Summit County Council. The form of government in the county will change next year from the more traditional three-member County Commission to the newer council/manager model.
"They should elect me because I have been not only a county commissioner but I have also served as a member of a city council with a manager and I know how to work in both systems," Elliott explained. "There are 11 fabulous candidates for County Council but no matter how good and how experienced, it takes a little time to get up to speed, and I’m there."
Constituents talk about the importance of trails and preserving open space, she said.
"They’re saying, "Yes we love trails, we love open space and we love the new and innovative programs for seniors,’" Elliott added.
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But complaints from lawyers and developers about planning and zoning Elliott helps oversee can result in controversy.
"That’s fine. That’s what I was elected for. People thank me most times and especially in light of the recent criticism People say, ‘Keep it up, you’re doing the right thing,’" Elliott said. "If you know you’re on strong moral and ethical ground And if you know you’re representing the wishes of the electorate, then the criticism just rolls off."
In eastern and western Summit County voters are concerned about urban sprawl overrunning their neighborhoods, she said.
"We all have great sympathy with the right of people to enjoy an economic return on their investment in land. That’s private property rights and we all have enormous respect for private property rights," Elliott said. "But it’s when private property rights conflict with the rights of other people that we run into trouble."
Elliott moved to Summit County in 1986 when her husband retired from the U.S. Army.
"People like Summit County and they don’t want to see us allow growth that would diminish the quality of life," Elliott said. "We’ve worked with the planning commissions to be sure that our codes and general plans are in keeping with the way people feel."
In defeating Snyderville Basin Republican Steven Osguthorpe in her 2004 campaign, Elliott throttled her opponent on the West Side but enjoyed only scattered support in eastern Summit County.
But today her hairdresser and butcher are in Coalville and she usually buys milk at Brown’s Dairy in Hoytsville, Elliott said.
"One of the happiest parts of being a county commissioner has been working very, very hard on projects in North Summit and projects in South Summit," Elliott said. "While I had many friends there from my past work with the county, I’ve made many, many, many more friends and it’s very gratifying."
Shopping locally helps circulate her income back into the community, Elliott stressed.
"It’s fabulous service and fabulous quality and I keep the money pouring right back into Summit County families," Elliott said.
Meanwhile, Elliott rejects criticism that county government is not transparent.
"The County Commission is very, very careful in complying with all (open meetings) laws," she said. "I think government is extremely transparent."
Among her goals for her first term are implementing long-range planning for mass transit and the disposal and recycling of solid waste.
Elliott said she is also proud that Summit County stands on sound financial footing after commissioners asked each department head to imagine cutting 20 percent of their budget as a worst-case scenario.
At least two candidates are vying for each of the new at-large council seats and voters can cast ballots in all five races.
"People are not real clear about what they’re supposed to do so I’m trying to explain the process to everybody at every door," Elliott said. "I lobbied really hard for at large because it’s the at-large part that requires me to go to Woodland and Francis and Oakley and Kamas and Peoa. Every candidate is responsible for representing the entire county."