Guest editorial: I will restore transparent leadership to the mayor’s office

Nann Worel
Park City councilmember, mayoral candidate

As a United States Navy Nurse, I learned about leadership from the wounded warriors I cared for. I learned that leadership is about honor and honoring the people you serve, regardless of whether their opinions are the same as yours. It’s about honoring the commitments you make to the community you serve.

I have embraced this style of leadership throughout my career and believe it is exactly what the Park City Mayor’s role demands, now more than ever. Public Service with honor has, at its core, transparency, inclusivity and collaboration. It shouldn’t matter what professional, socioeconomic, political, identity or educational background voices represent. What matters is that all voices feel welcome to share opinions and topics they deem important. And that those voices are actually heard.

I champion legitimate public process and am grieved when I feel our City falls short. I was outspoken in July of 2020 when murals were painted on Main Street without any public process. The very people that should have been included-ALL of our residents, Main Street business owners, the Park City police-were excluded from the decision making process. That is a far cry from transparency.

The proposed soils repository on the Gordo parcel is a current example of failed public process. The community was slow to engage in the conversation because they were largely unaware that the City was even considering such a project. Once they DID engage, the public took control of the process and essentially forced the City to pause for 60 days while simultaneously launching a long overdue public engagement campaign. Participation was unequal to anything I’ve ever witnessed. Our residents posed thoughtful questions (many of which are still unanswered) and offered well-researched public input and relevant professional expertise. Many also reached out privately to the Council. Last week alone, I received 47 calls. During the 60-day period, I did not receive one comment in favor of constructing the repository as proposed.

At the July 15 City Council meeting concluding the 60-day period, we held a work session regarding the repository. The staff report presented four options for next steps ranging from “Decline to proceed with the Soils Management Facility at Gordo” to “Continue to answer public questions, conduct additional soil hauling study, collect additional soil sampling data and re-engage with the EPA.” Unfortunately, after taking 90 minutes of public comment unanimously against the current repository plans, the incumbent Mayor chose not to allow discussion by City Council. Consequently, no direction was given to staff thereby stalling the conversation until our next meeting on August 19th, more than a month away and coincidentally after primary election voting. There is no question I will vote against it.

I am honored to have been elected to City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. I was not elected to push any personal agendas, but rather to represent the voices of our community.

Park City, I have listened to you and your concerns regarding soils, July 4th, the arts district budget, the murals, affordable childcare and accessible early childhood education, mental health, inclusion and more. I want to assure our residents’ place in transparent public process going forward. I intend to continue to listen to all the passionate, informed, confused and even quiet voices in our community and to validate the significant human capital we have right here in Park City by inviting you into the public process from the start. In order to eradicate agendas and restore transparent leadership to the Mayor’s office, I need your votes. And so I humbly ask for your support, your trust, and your continued involvement through the upcoming primary and general elections.


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