Learn more about running for local office at a free seminar
The Park Record editorial, May 13-16, 2017
One relatively positive effect of today’s fractious political climate is that the country’s notoriously apathetic electorate is up in arms. At last, citizens are paying attention and participating. The downside, though, is that some potentially excellent leaders may be reluctant to run for office in the midst of such spirited feedback.
But we hope that won’t be the case as residents begin contemplating whether to file as candidates in this year’s municipal election cycle. Locally, two seats on each of Summit County’s six town boards and the mayors’ posts are up for renewal.
Why are we bringing this up so soon after last year’s unnerving campaign season? Because the filing window for November’s election opens in just two-and-a-half weeks — and because we want to encourage a large diverse crowd of citizens to consider coming forward to lead their communities.
For one thing, municipal elections are fought in a very different arena from their state and national counterparts. The nonpartisan races, especially in the county’s small-east side towns, typically draw regular folks who have little if any political experience. They are friends and neighbors who just want to protect and improve their communities.
As local town councilors, they are charged with keeping an eye on growth and development within their incorporated boundaries and making sure new subdivisions and commercial projects don’t outpace existing infrastructure. They watch the budget, organize celebrations and, yes, take flak for situations both within and outside of their control.
It is not an easy task, but to make it a little less daunting, Park City Municipal Corp and The Park Record are sponsoring a free seminar on how to decide whether you might find it rewarding. Speakers include past and current city council members, a former mayor, a past planning commissioner, city and county election officials, Park City’s attorney and a public relations specialist.
The panelists will offer advice on how to campaign and what it is like to be an elected official. They will also talk about other ways to become more involved with local government, including volunteering on a wide array of boards and commissions.
If you are tired of taking a back seat when it comes to making decisions for your community this event is for you. It takes place Wednesday, May 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Miners Hospital. The filing window for the 2017 municipal elections is June 1-7.
Prospective candidates from Park City, Coalville, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Francis are all invited to attend.
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Our view: Pushing to protect watersheds in the Uinta Mountains would cost Summit County time and resources. But it can’t afford to do nothing.