Record editorial: An early test of Park City mayor-elect’s leadership |

Record editorial: An early test of Park City mayor-elect’s leadership

It won’t take long for Park City Mayor-elect Nann Worel’s leadership skills to be put to the test.

Throughout the campaign, Worel and her supporters touted her ability to bridge divides, build consensus and repair faltering relationships. But before she turns her attention to deploying those skills more broadly, she would be wise to start inside the Marsac Building itself.

It’s no secret that there is a rift between Worel, who has spent the past six years as a member of the Park City Council, and two of the elected officials who will continue to serve alongside her when she’s sworn in as mayor.

City Councilors Max Doilney and Becca Gerber supported Worel’s opponent in the mayor’s race, incumbent Andy Beerman, and the tensions spilled into public view in August when the pair authored a guest editorial in The Park Record challenging assertions Worel made in her own opinion piece two weeks prior regarding City Hall’s handling of the social justice-themed murals on Main Street and the controversial proposal for a soils repository. The pair viewed Worel’s guest editorial as calling their integrity into question and accused her of misrepresenting events and misleading the public — charges that illustrate the severity of the discord.

The particulars of the disagreement, at this stage, are beside the point. After a long election season, Parkites — and certainly the elected officials themselves — are tired of rehashing the circumstances surrounding the murals and soils repository concept, controversies that sucked up much of the oxygen during the campaign.

What’s pertinent now is the reality that Worel will be tasked with leading Park City for at least the next four years. And to do it most effectively, she will need support and buy-in from Gerber and Doilney, who in a couple of months will be the only two members of the City Council with any experience once three new city councilors are seated.

Could City Hall operate without Worel patching things up with Gerber and Doilney? Of course. The mayor-elect is under no obligation to smooth over the relationship, and the city councilors for their part could opt to refuse an olive branch.

But the officials digging in their heels is not in the best interest of Parkites, who demand more from the people they send to the Marsac Building. Allowing wounds from the election to fester would be counterproductive, hindering progress on the range of important issues City Hall must tackle.

It’s essential that the three of them put aside their differences and, to some extent, let bygones be bygones. Worel, as the person Parkites have chosen to guide the city, should take the lead and do what it takes to repair the relationship.

She told The Park Record last week that Doilney and Gerber had texted her after Election Day, expressing a desire to work together.

That’s a great start.

Saying the right things, though, is easy. Doing the work to mend fences and ensure lingering tension doesn’t undercut City Hall’s agenda is the hard part.

In the course of their public service, each of the three officials has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to put Park City first. For that reason, we have faith they’ll come together and resolve their differences after a bruising election. For the sake of the Parkites they serve, that needs to happen sooner rather than later.

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