Taxi driver wants to be mayor
A taxi driver, urging City Hall to make Main Street safer for drivers and pedestrians, said on Friday she will bid for the mayor’s office in 2009, the first person to say with certainty they will be a candidate for Park City’s highest office.
Diania Turner, who is 58 years old and lives on Main Street, said in an interview Main Street is dangerous in the winter. She wants the local government to install a heating system to keep the sidewalks and the street clear of snow and ice. She said she witnesses five or six people falling each week during the winter.
"Do you know how many people fall on Main Street in the winter," she said.
Last winter, the snowiest in recent years, was especially tough, she said. Turner did not provide details of her proposal to heat Main Street and the sidewalks. Others have occasionally brought up the idea, but past talks have not advanced. It is unclear how Turner wants to pay for the heating system and whether she has approached Main Street merchants with her idea.
Turner also wants City Hall to more frequently close Main Street to traffic during busy times, including the Sundance Film Festival in January.
People cannot file formal papers to seek the mayor’s office until mid-2009, with the election being that November. Dana Williams, the incumbent mayor, has not declared whether he will seek re-election to a third term.
Shauna Kerr, a former Park City Councilor and Summit County Commissioner, recently told The Park Record she is considering a campaign for the mayor’s office next year.
Williams was unopposed when he won a second term in 2005, but the early interest by others indicates the campaign in 2009 will likely be competitive regardless of whether Williams seeks re-election.
Turner has lived in Park City off and on for the last 40 years and most recently moved into Park City in 2007, she says in time to meet City Hall’s one-year residency requirements for elected office.
"I love Park City. Park City’s like eye candy. It’s so incredibly beautiful," she said.
Turner owns Deep Powder Transportation and drives taxis for the firm, which has five taxis and eight drivers, including herself. She has not previously served the government.
Turner said she gathers disparate opinions as a taxi driver, saying she meets Park City residents and visitors while she is on the job.
"I have a different perspective from other people because I’m always in touch," she said.
Meanwhile, Turner said work force housing is important, but she did not provide details about the prospects of providing more of the restricted housing inside Park City. She said "something has to be done," and she mentioned perhaps a shuttle bus to Kamas for workers could be successful.
Turner said she wants City Hall to continue its environmental efforts, and she talks about cleaner-burning energies such as power generated from solar, wind and underground sources.
Her interest in work force housing and the environmental programs resemble priorities already in place at City Hall.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.