Please, Parkites, there’s no need to be uncivil |

Please, Parkites, there’s no need to be uncivil

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Stop the bullying. Be courteous. No need to gossip.

All lofty goals — and some of traits of a civil community, Park City leaders have declared.

In a move that comes just as the election season begins, Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council have made a call for civility in the community. The elected officials agreed to declare Park City to be ‘Park Civility’ and labeled the three-month period between late June and late September as ‘The Season of Civility’ in the city.

The elected officials were spurred to make the declaration by the current class of Leadership Park City, a yearlong training program that prepares participants to take on a wider role in civic life. The class selected civility as a focus.

Matt Lindon, a member of the Leadership Park City class who lives in Silver Springs, said the members want to see civility spread through politics, the ski slopes, the trails and the roads.

"We don’t feel there’s a civility problem in Park City, but it could always be better," Lindon said.

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The tenets of civility, as described in the City Hall resolution declaring ‘The Season of Civility,’ are:

  • Pay attention; be courteous
  • Listen actively to others
  • Be inclusive; don’t bully
  • Do not gossip; be considerate
  • Show respect and empathy
  • Be agreeable, amiable and affable
  • Apologize; be cordial
  • Offer constructive criticism; be gracious
  • Take responsibility; be accountable

    "The residents of Park City place a high value on respect and civility in their lives and in their town. We understand that these characteristics are essential to any healthy community and to its reputation as a world-class destination resort," the resolution says, adding, "since civility is contagious, it can spread virally from this town and affect the world."

    The push for civility in Park City is receiving publicity at the start of City Hall’s election season, which will last from early July until early November. Three Park City Council seats are on the ballot. City Council elections have generally been mild-mannered affairs in the time since the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    Lindon said the mayor has previously campaigned on a platform that partially called for civility in the community. He said the civility tenants Leadership Park City is promoting could lead to a campaign without the negativity common in politics.

    "I believe the campaign will be much more positive" if the candidates adhere to the tenets, he said. "They’ll focus on the positive. They’ll be less political attacks."

    Lindon said the organizers plan to hand out what he describes as ‘civility cards’ to people who are seen acting in a civil manner. He said hundreds of the cards will be printed, and they will start to be handed out soon after Independence Day. He said people will be able to track the location of the cards through an Internet site that will trace where they are distributed.

    Many Parkites likely see the community as being a civil place compared to other cities where they’ve lived. But there are occasional attention-grabbing episodes in government circles and in the wider community — that are not emblematic of ideals of civility.