The Park Record editorial, November 24-26, 2010 |

The Park Record editorial, November 24-26, 2010

A time for food, friends, family and gratitude

Thanksgiving is not about gifts, or commemorating a specific individual. It transcends religious divides and is all about appreciating what we have rather than focusing on what we want.

This year there is plenty to be grateful for.

A few years ago a handful of local parents spearheaded an effort to make Park City’s streets and neighborhoods safer for their kids. They gathered neighbors in their living rooms, pestered city officials and muddled through the bureaucracy, eventually gathering enough new supporters to support a citywide walkability bond. This fall their dreams came to fruition and next summer pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy new tunnels, paths and bike lanes thanks to their dedication.

On the political front, this was supposed to be an off-election year but, still, a handful of citizens were willing to risk their comfortable anonymity to campaign for public office. Even though, in most cases, the pay is minimal, as candidates they engaged the community in some important debates about public safety, education and government responsibility. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all high-minded policy discussions and polite disagreement. These days politics is gritty and personal so we are doubly indebted to those who are willing to participate in the democratic process.

This year also saw a continuation of the economic recession and sacrifices have been made at many levels. In classrooms, offices and workshops throughout Summit County, those who still have jobs are working harder to make up for smaller staffs. In both big and small businesses, many others have foregone pay raises and benefits to help others keep their jobs. For those who are still working as hard as ever, we are also grateful.

On Thursday, as we sit down to tables laden with food and surrounded by friends, we will also take a moment to appreciate our community’s visionary nonprofit leaders whose efforts to provide affordable housing, social services and medical care for those less fortunate too often go unnoticed.

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Finally, we must also note the farsighted people in our community who have been relentlessly encouraging the rest of us to preserve and protect our stunning environment. Both Park City and Summit County have made trendsetting efforts to recycle, to reduce energy consumption and to preserve open space for future generations.

This is just a small sampling of the many bounties we enjoy here in the mountains. Add yours and accept our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.