Guest editorial: Park City Council’s words about candidate were divisive and insulting
March 15, 2018
I don't know any member of the Park City Council. I don't know them personally nor have I encountered them professionally. I don't know Abby McNulty other than by her reputation as a leader of the Park City Education Foundation. When I heard the City Council's recorded discussion about whether Ms. McNulty would be adequately dedicated to the role of council member based on her professional and personal commitments I was dumbstruck.
In 2018, in a town that bills itself as forward-thinking on issues such as preserving open space and reducing its carbon footprint, the conversation held by the Council could have taken place in 1958. In their words, a woman, who works, with a family and community commitments, won't have the necessary time or "passion" for the job.
A town where a year ago, thousands of women marched down Main Street during Sundance to give voice to those who believe our national political direction is seriously misguided must now reckon with the reality that its elected leadership is just another, perhaps slightly friendlier version, of the old boy network.
Mayor Andy Beerman said, a month into his term, that he didn't want to "step in it." Given that he neither knew what the open meetings requirements were for a discussion of replacement candidates, nor did he understand the conversation was being recorded (and said recordings could and would be made public) he appears to need some remediation in his mayoral responsibilities.
To add insult to insult, when KPCW asked the mayor for a comment on the conversation regarding Ms. McNulty and its contents, he refused. Mr. Mayor, your job is to stand tall before the people that elected you and answer for your actions — both good and bad. Hiding in a town the size of Park City is likely difficult and unfruitful.
A few things to note: Being lucky enough to live in Summit County for nearly three years, I believe it is far more likely that council members with a profile close to that of Ms. McNulty will have a far better pulse on the community than retired gentry who've decided to guide policy from their mountaintops. Conversations at ski races, swim meets and on the soccer fields about issues of the day are crucial to understanding what the community is thinking.
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Next, Park City has a population of approximately 8,000 residents. Listening to the conversation, one would think the Council Members were being asked to spend time rerouting subway lines through lower Manhattan. If the Council feels it has too much on its plate, perhaps it's because they're not focused enough on the priorities of the citizens they're elected to represent.
Several of the Council members will be up for reelection next year. I would tell you which ones but the City Council's website lists term information for only one member, is missing biographical information for two more entirely and doesn't even list Lynn Ware Peek as a member.
When elections roll around in 2019, I hope many mothers and fathers in Park City will consider running for City Council. I hope the voters of Park City will ask their representatives hard questions and if found wanting, replace them with new voices.
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