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Rademan’s career honored

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF
Myles Rademan, City Hall's Public Affairs director, with dog Sierra in Round Valley, recently was inducted into the 2006 College of Fellows by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Grayson West/Park Record
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When Myles Rademan arrived at City Hall in 1987, Park City’s boom years were still approaching, holding a Winter Olympics in Utah seemed a tad ambitious and someone talking about raising taxes to buy open space likely would have been ridiculed.

But in almost 20 years, Rademan, City Hall’s longtime Public Affairs director, has assumed an influential role in the Park City government, becoming a principal architect of the city’s vaunted open-space program, acting as the city’s No. 2 Winter Olympic planner and, many times, being the person who is asked to promote the government’s agenda.

The American Institute of Certified Planners recently inducted Rademan into its College of Fellows, an honor that recognizes a person’s contributions to the field.

"It’s like a lifetime-achievement award," Rademan says when describing how other people view the induction. "It’s like going to Cooperstown."

Rademan, who is 61 years old, is trained as an attorney but spent most of his career in civic planning in Colorado and Park City, starting with the local government as the Planning director, a post he held for two years before becoming the director of Public Affairs in 1989.

His role with the government, however, has been broad. He was never pigeonholed into the typical duties of a Public Affairs director like issuing press releases and greeting high-ranking people to City Hall. Rademan instead was part of a team in the 1990s, with people like ex-Mayor Brad Olch and Toby Ross, the former city manager, that oversaw the city’s boom years, trying to balance people’s wishes to cultivate the resort industry while attempting to retain the feel of a small, friendly town.

"Did I do that alone? No, but I was here," he says about some of the accomplishments he lists from his tenure in Park City, such as the Olympics, the construction of the Rail Trail and the renovation of the once-decrepit Carl Winters Building, which was turned into the Park City Library and Education Center.

The institute inducted Rademan and 44 others into the College of Fellows, including a congresswoman from Ohio, during an April ceremony in San Antonio. The institute is the professional arm of the American Planning Association, an industry group.

A spokesman for the association says that a person inducted as a fellow attained the highest level of achievement in the field in the U.S. There are about 350 such fellows in America, the institute says, and inductions are held every two years. People are nominated based on their research, teaching, mentoring or community or public service. A five-person committee from the institute selects the fellows.

Mayor Dana Williams touts Rademan’s stature nationally when talking about him, saying that his background in ski country has made him a prominent figure in the fast-growing region. But Williams also insists that others who have ties to the government assisted in Rademan’s successes.

"I’m continually surprised when we go to other communities every single person knows who Myles Rademan is," Williams says, describing Rademan as "exceedingly eloquent" and noting his role as the organizer of annual trips to other resort communities in the West.

A career out West

Rademan, who is from the Philadelphia area, started his career in the planning sector in 1971, in Denver, where he was a city planner. He spent two years there before moving to Crested Butte, Colo., a ski town where he stayed for 14 years and fought a mining company, before moving to the Park City government, first as the Planning director for two years and then as the Public Affairs chief.

He delivers lectures, mostly in the West, and says he likes to use Crested Butte and Park City as "bellwethers" for the rest of America, talking about preservation of a community’s history and mixing entertainment purveyors and retailers into a city.

"I’ve always used these towns as a laboratory for a wider view," Rademan says, talking about their vibrancy and that they do not fit typical planning-industry categories. "These are not called ‘micro-urban areas in rural settings.’ These are dynamic little communities."

His Park City tenure wins accolades from colleagues, including those who submitted letters supporting Rademan’s nomination.

Rep. Ralph Becker, the Democratic leader of the Utah House of Representatives, says in a letter to the institute’s selection committee that Rademan is a "giant" in the profession.

"In the last 20 years he has become the guide and voice for Park City, and often the most articulate, brilliant spokesperson for planning in the region," Becker says in the 2005 letter, provided to The Park Record by Rademan.

Toby Ross, the former city manager in Park City, says in an interview that Rademan takes a "creative approach" to issues. Ross, who served as City Hall’s chief executive from 1989 until 2002 and is now the city manager in West Sacramento, Calif., wrote a 2004 letter in support of Rademan’s nomination.

In the letter, Ross notes Rademan’s founding role of what became Leadership Park City, an annual program meant to teach Parkites how to become involved in the community.

"Look around — the City Council, advisory boards, leadership in nonprofits — a lot of people have gone through that program," Ross says.

Rademan says, through his career, he has avoided working in bureaucratic settings and is happy with his colleagues. He is pleased with what many see as Park City’s open-space successes, like protecting huge tracts of land in Round Valley. Voters in Park City have twice passed open-space bonds and a third ballot measure may be put to voters in November.

"Every morning my wife and I walk around Round Valley," Rademan says.

But he says that Parkites do not always gush praise on City Hall ideas, remembering that it was controversial when the government first put flower baskets on Main Street and when city leaders decided to place a tall Olympic tower at Snow Creek. He prefers debate, however, to when people are not energized.

"The worst thing that happens is dead silence," Rademan says. "The best thing that happens is when people can talk about an issue with civility."


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