Christopher Robinson wants to continue to be the voice of reason
Throughout his six-year tenure as an original member of the Summit County Council, Democratic candidate Christopher Robinson said he’s attempted to be the voice of reason, in the support of the rule of law.
"I view participating in public service as a form of public trust that comes with a lot of responsibility" Robinson said at the debate forum, hosted by KPCW and The Park Record, on Monday, Oct. 20.
Robinson is running for another four-year term on the council against Republican Craig Williams.
Questions at the forum touched on the Mountain Accord initiative and the relationship the council has with both the East and the West sides of the county. Robinson is currently serving as the council chairman and vice chair of the executive committee for the Mountain Accord.
Robinson said he believes he has "worked hard and has done a good job" navigating the responsibilities as a council member. Robinson admits has been chided for combing through documents, or being a wordsmith as he called it, to ensure he understood the language and purpose behind each before signing any decisions.
During his time, Robinson said the council’s legacy includes significant open-space purchases and, he hopes, will also now include the Mountain Accord.
"I bring experienced leadership, for which I feel there is not a need for change," he said. "We’ve done a lot of things to preserve our quality of life, but we’re now facing a lot of challenges."
Robinson, a native Utahn, is currently seeking re-election in order to continue to set a course for the county’s future.
The Mountain Accord, he said, is a "historic opportunity" for all communities in three counties and eight municipalities to work together in mapping out a plan to navigate the influx of people and to protect the environment, while growing recreation and the economy in the central Wasatch Mountain region.
"I think the big issue is: how we get people out of their cars and into our resorts," he said. "I think the other thing is: do we want to connect Cottonwood Canyons with the Snyderville basin?"
During the forum, Robinson said he has not decided where he stands on the issue.
Traffic congestion and air quality is a major concern of Robinson’s and moving forward with the Mountain Accord, he wants to address those transit issues, especially in the Snyderville Basin.
As a businessman and a rancher, Robinson said he has a background in the eastern part of the county, where the majority of his livelihood is derived.
In response to challenger Craig Williams’ assertion that residents in either part of the county claim to be neglected, Robinson recognized the differences between the two, but said he’d like to think the relationships have improved and the council has been responsive to issues on both sides.
One of the main issues affecting all residents of the county is the Tesoro Pipeline, Robinson said. In the past, The Park Record reported that Tesoro Refining & Marketing is proposing to build a 135 mile-long, heated pipeline, called the Uinta Express Pipeline, to transport about 60,000 barrels of waxy crude per day.
With the new economic and development growth in the area, including the pipeline and Mountain Accord initiative, Robinson said he wants to continue to ensure Summit County residents’ voices and positions are heard and their quality of life is preserved.
Robinson asked challenger Williams how he would balance the competing interests of private property rights versus community interests to ensure theat quality is preserved.
"We’ve (the council) done a lot of things to ensure it’s kept but we’re now facing a lot of challenges with the recession being over and new growth hitting us with a combination of ski resorts and lots of other things," Robinson said. "It’s not fun at all times but it’s the American way. I’ve enjoyed serving on this council and I’d like to continue to serve."
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