Guest editorial: Anti-Williams rhetoric in Park City mayoral race has been poisonous | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Anti-Williams rhetoric in Park City mayoral race has been poisonous

Sam Harris
Park City

To be quite frank; the anti-Dana rhetoric has finally hit a breaking point for me. There is a poisonous and ideological tone that has rarely, if ever, been seen in Park City. Even if the facts are correct, the manner at how this has been achieved has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Cherry picking decisions and things from the past that are out of context and from a different era is unfair. Back then, Dana was championing open space and responsible growth for Park City while the majority were selling out and trying to become wealthy selling real estate. Dana was a rare voice of reason, and has always had the best interests of Park City in his mind and actions. To say otherwise is disgraceful and offensive.

First of all, I have lived in Park City my whole life. I met Andy on the basketball court 15-20 years ago, and I have known Dana and his family since I was in 8th grade. Andy and Dana are both qualified candidates and I would not be disappointed in either outcome of this mayoral election. Whoever wins, I will be happy. As I said, I love both candidates.

I do, however, have a major problem with the politicization and rhetoric now swirling around this mayoral election. Some people are so good at arguing and debate, they seem to say whatever they need to make someone look bad. Even if they think they are doing the right thing, and even if their argument is sound, the cultivation of negative politics is not good for Park City. Sometimes people get so caught up in the argument they start to become somewhat delusional in their thinking. All they want to do is win. They think they know everything, and would gladly debate everything with everyone all the time – and nine times out of ten, they would win that debate. That still doesn't mean that they know the true history of this town or what really happened 25-30 years ago.

Before Vail took over, before we had traffic, and before many of you had moved here, Dana was one of the first who fought self-interest and spearheaded the opposition to greed in Park City. Dana had the foresight to fight for Park City, bucking the trend of the majority. To claim that Dana let this town slide into uncontrollable growth and corporatization is unfair and frankly insulting. Sometimes it is easy to look back on the past and say, "he should have traded Flagstaff for Bonanza Flats, what an idiot!" However, nobody saw the true nature of corporate takeover coming, even Andy. Dana was on the front lines fighting for this town and fighting for locals while Andy and I were fighting for a rebound on the court. I am disappointed that Dana has been criticized for his past work in a different era. It's easy to have 20/20 vision while looking in the rearview mirror. Dana has, and always will have, Park City's genuine interests in mind. To claim otherwise is a travesty.

Furthermore, people don't give Dana the credit he deserves. Just because Dana doesn't always dress smart, wear a tie, or drive an expensive car, people think Dana doesn't have the intellect or experience to get it done. He does. Just because Dana doesn't yell the loudest or hurl insults, it doesn't mean he is clueless or unsophisticated. Quite the opposite is true.

Bottom line: Don't underestimate the heart of a true local with Park City's real old school interests in mind. Get out and vote.