Guest editorial: Andy Beerman is a passionate champion of Park City’s quality of life
Park City’s overwhelming attractiveness as a community lies in our extremely high quality of life built upon: immediate access to the outdoors and trails; a sustainable and inclusive community that is rich in cultural assets; a place that is not overwhelmed by growth and tourism. On these foundational issues Andy Beerman has been both a passionate and most effective champion. His track record of achievement over the past 4 years affirms that.
During Andy’s tenure as mayor this community has acquired more open space for recreational opportunities and rampant growth prevention than in any other administration. That leadership has resulted in in the acquisition of the critically important Bonanza Flats & Treasure Hill (both developments would have had horrendous, long term consequences on this community) as well as the Clark Ranch and Armstrong/Snowcreek parcels. Together these acquisitions were positive, forever, game changers for this community. For both Bonanza Flats and Treasure Hill, Andy directed the decision makers to be the voters of Park City who had to approve the bonds for both purchases. Andy’s leadership in negotiating these deals, getting the bonds on the ballot, and communicating what was at stake was not only the key to success but also illustrated a clear understanding of who he works for.
We all enjoy the cultural benefits that enhance our lives from being a tourism-oriented community, yet we dread too many visitors and events that crowd our community and potentially offer no benefit to residents. Andy’s leadership in engineering the appropriate balance was clear in his first term. He organized the Special Events Advisory Committee comprised of a balance of local residents and business owners. Between this group’s recommendations and that of City Council, Andy directed staff to reduce the number of events, to ensure that those events held have traffic mitigation plans and are, overall, events that locals too can enjoy and benefit from.
Andy’s leadership, after an extensive year long effort to solicit public input, has been integral to Park City’s substantial efforts to lead the state in addressing the existential threats of climate change. Salt Lake City, County, and Ogden among nearly 20 other municipalities have followed our lead in committing to a clean energy future in the not-so-distant future. The same is now true with other mountain towns throughout the west.
Andy inherited a small handful of issues & policies that were well underway when he took office including that of an Arts & Culture District, mine waste, a community center for seniors and more. When it became evident that the community has serious questions on these proposals, Andy listened, slowed the process, and has worked diligently to give residents the opportunity to delve into these issues, ask questions and help craft the outcome.
The process of effectively leading Park City is never easy, however when one looks at the major, tangible, and lasting accomplishments of Andy’s first term one can only be impressed and appreciative for what this represents to Park City’s high quality of life both today and for future generations.
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“We still have a small window of time to take steps to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis and preserve the natural world we love, here in Park City and beyond. PacifiCorp should commit to do its part and end its fossil-fuel electricity generation by 2035, if not sooner,” writes Susan Rothman.