Voter Guide 2017: The candidates make their case
Park Record asks Park City mayoral and City Council candidates how they stand out
October 23, 2017
With Election Day approaching, and mail-in ballots on their way to residents, The Park Record asked each Park City candidate to answer how they differ from their opponent(s) in their own words in order to help voters make informed decisions as they fill out and return their ballots. You can see answers from mayoral candidates here and City Council candidates here.
Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
My opponent was Mayor for 12 years in a different era for Park City. We now have two large and corporate resorts tasked with growing their businesses and brands. We have a steady influx of people visiting and investing in Park City. And we live in a historic town with infrastructure that struggles to serve our growing needs. This requires a new type of leader—one that doesn't just set the tone, but also sets the agenda and a path forward. I am a successful businessman with decades of management and financial experience. I have an optimistic outlook and a knack for building consensus, but behind my smile is the grit to stand firm on our community values. My record shows a commitment to the environment, open space, renewable energy, historic preservation, transit and community. A vote for me won't be based on potential. I have a record of successfully navigating the public process—someone who gets things done. As Mayor, I will use both my head and my heart and work to make Park City stronger, seamless and more sustainable—to build a complete community, to push back against growth, and to stand up for all of our residents.
My opponent and I have worked successfully in the past. The main difference is management skills verses leadership skills. I bring decades of participation on community issues, both as an activist and an elected official. As an activist, it was nice to realize that you don't have to compromise on issues. Being an elected official is quite different. The main responsibility is to be the voice of the constituency, even though at times, it might differ from your own. I never wavered in understanding that the role of the Mayor is to not only value the opinions of all, but to also empower those who didn't think they mattered. It means that you defend the values and principles of your community against those that want something different. It means that you move beyond tolerance to acceptance of the diversity, both socially and culturally, that make us such a great place. It means that you worry about those who are less fortunate, and strive to help where you can. Most importantly, it means that you attempt to fulfill the vision created by the people of the community and not that of the government!
City Council candidates
Finally , what makes me different from the other candidates , that are running for city office are simple but great.One difference is the amount of time that i have lived here in old town (28 years). Watching this town change , literally outside of my window. And two, is the experience that I have gained from working directly with most city employees in every job and every non profit organizations that i have given my time to. Remember , its not about ME, it's about YOU. It's about who you can trust with your money and ideas that YOU want implemented in the community. I decided to run for city council because I have been disappointed with our current administration and some of the ideas that they want to pass , with out considering the actual people that LIVE HERE. I can only hope that you believe the same things that I believe. Thank You , Mark Blue Park City Resident and City Council Candidate.
I chose to call Park City Home 25 years ago and I still make that same choice today. I've participated in community visioning, been part of boards that have created trails and protected open space, trick or treated in the best neighborhoods, walked and biked up and down Main Street for Halloween, Parades, Tour Des Suds, and Bike Dance, traveled with City Tour, blabbed on the radio, volunteered 17 days during the Olympics, listened to concerts all over town, all while this little town has grown, evolved, and transformed right before our eyes. And the reason, after all the change, growth, and transformation Park City is still Home for me is because of the people. The people that make up our authentic neighborhoods where epic trick or treating breaks out every Halloween, where children play in the streets, where block parties are not a thing of the past. These are the neighborhoods where our middle class reside, where the bus routes make a difference, where the schools are a priority, where affordability is a topic of conversation around the dinner table. These are the people I represent and would be honored to serve again, as a member of City Council.
My first experience in Park City was cycling the Rail Trail, as a part of my 2010 cross country bike tour, that took me 4600 miles to three coasts of our country. I am a product of past elected officials, organizations and individuals making Park City an excellent place to live. I want to make sure that door stays open to as broad a swath of humanity as we can fit in town.
I am recently married and like the idea of raising a family here, in Park City, but like many I come nowhere close to being able to afford a market value house here. I will fight to make sure that the cooks, the nurses and teachers, the taxi drivers and dishwashers can thrive here.
What makes Park City special is the collaboration and community engagement of our citizens. When I lead the March for Science on Park City's slowest weekend, right after the resorts close, we still had a large group of concerned citizens. Park City and Summit County are poised to be a leader in both transit and sustainability issues, because of the will of the people that live here.
My proven business experience combined with my term as a Park City Planning Commissioner has given me unique insight into our city's ecosystem. While I fully support the goals we are pursuing, I'm particularly concerned about our aggressive rate of spending and the unintended consequences of some of our decisions.
In the last five years, Park City has seen two half-percent sales tax increases, a $25M bond, a 15-year extension on the Lower Park Avenue RDA, dramatically increased water bills, a new storm water fee, and an added 1% lodging tax. Even though the economy and tax revenues are strong, we are borrowing heavily against all of these new income sources. Also, the original micro transit proposal and the abrupt introduction of a new lodging tax failed to fully consider the significant impact on local business.
While the city invests significantly in affordable housing, the cost of living for all Park City residents is quickly escalating, making affordable living increasingly difficult. My extensive business management and civic experience will enable me to bring a thoughtful, considered approach to our city's fiscal spending and to act as an advocate for local residents and businesses.