Guest editorial: Growth and tax burden threaten once-quaint Park City
I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Janulaitis’ letter regarding having continuous tax increases for infrastructure, to support multi million if not billion dollar resort owners such as Vail and Deer Valley. Who are we kidding, and why should I, like many other full-time residents, support any of the resorts’ building measures, when we get nothing in return, other than a continual drain of income and a higher tax bill to support an increase in the resorts’ services? It’s bad enough, the city and county officials find plenty of ways to waste money and promote growth, for a city that doesn’t even have existing infrastructure to handle even its own growth.
It seems like much of the accountability, in keeping taxes low, and using funds in a manner that makes sense, like adding trails, limit building, protecting the remaining open space, designating protected wildlife areas, and restricting building in areas already over run with traffic like the soon to be Quarry Village and I-80 exit, among others, (which will not be cured by building roundabouts), is overshadowed by hair-brained ideas like Woodward Park. In addition to bright lights wiping out starry skies, loss of trails, a ski lift, (which is absurd), increased traffic, disturbing wildlife patterns, and knowing builders always try to skew given parameters to make things bigger, think of the eye sore a 52,000 square foot building will be on land which should remain as open space. It’s bad enough we’re wasting money on a building noise wall for residents who bought next to a freeway. Did those residents expect it would be silent living next to a major thoroughfare?
What about the conservation of water, taxing the schools by increasing class size, and further creating an economic gap, which ultimately would lead to building more housing? What about the continued disregard by city and county officials to protect the land and surrounding communities that make up Park City, Pinebrook, Jeremy Ranch, and the Snyderville Basin. Do the elected officials think about any of this? Or is their motto build baby build?
In reading letters, opinions, and attending the various meetings held each week, the frustration among full time residents is growing, especially with the continual growth facing our once quaint area. Had Treasure Hill been protected to begin with, we wouldn’t be taxed with having to spend 64 million which will only increase our tax bill further. All this shortsightedness in the past and its continuation now is coming to roost with no end in sight. Since the city and county heads seemingly do nothing to keep the coffers filled, why should we as residents continue to vote for increases out of our pockets, to make up for the shortfall created by appointed officials’ inability to make smart decisions.
It begs asking; are the city and county politicians (which is what they really are as opposed to officials), elected to represent and hear the community, or is their mission simply to make the aforementioned areas a metropolis with lines of traffic, increased smog, and buildings which at the rate we are heading, might slowly grow to skyscrapers?
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It’s Sunday morning, and I am a bit sore but, once again, smiling having completed another Triple Trail Challenge capstone race yesterday, the Mid Mountain Marathon. With all of the other wonderful summer activities here in Park City, it’s easy to overlook the effort of over 300 runners, and more importantly, how integral the Mountain Trails Foundation is to the essence of Park City.