Summit County Councilors to host informal meetings
County hopes informal talks will help bridge communications gap
In the hopes of capitalizing off of the successes of Summit County’s monthly “Coffee with a Planner” meetings, County Council members are scheduled on Thursday to host an informal conversation with East Side residents about various community issues.
County Council members Chris Robinson and Glenn Wright, along with County Manager Tom Fisher, are expected to attend the “Conversation with Council” on Thursday, April 6, at the Mirror Lake Diner, in Oakley. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to last until 9:30 a.m.
Julie Booth, Summit County’s public information officer, said she created the event to bridge the gap “in our communications between citizens and the elected body.” Booth said improving community engagement is also a tenet of her communication’s plan for the county.
“We have been doing “Coffee with a Planner” for the past two years, which is a successful tool for planners to find out the public pulse on issues,” Booth said in an email to The Park Record. “Since Council has so many big-ticket items before them this year we decided to do more grassroots community engagement.”
The County Council is currently engaged and considering several critical issues, including a rewrite of Chapters 3 and 4 of the East Side Development Code and development of the Cline Dahle parcel, among others.
Fisher said he expects the discussion on Thursday to focus on those civic issues, in addition to any others that may be introduced, such as the Oakley River Corridor Project or the county’s contribution to Park City’s purchase of the Bonanza Flats acreage.
“Hopefully, we get comments about the big stuff that is going on in the community and any open ended issues we may have — the East Side code, billing for our solid waste fee and probably growth issues, in general — and pretty much anything else we are working on,” Fisher said. “I’m sure people have questions about where the money is coming from for some of these projects and what the benefit to them is.
“Anything that has to do with county services is on the table, and maybe things that are not directly related to the county,” he said.
Residents can engage with County Council members by phone, email or during the public comment session of council meetings, Fisher said. However, he added, “That doesn’t always lend itself to a more open conversation in these public venues.”
“When you’re a little more relaxed it can help some of the conversations flow around,” Fisher said. “This just provides another place to exchange ideas and solutions or question policies or things that are happening within the county.”
A similar meeting is expected to be held in the Snyderville Basin in May, with monthly meetings resuming in the fall.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.