Guest editorial: Park City mayor says participation, not personal attacks, is key to building community |

Guest editorial: Park City mayor says participation, not personal attacks, is key to building community

I’m writing this on Veterans Day when all are remembering the service and sacrifice our veterans make for our country. They protect our democracy and for that, we owe them our deepest thanks. But a healthy democracy requires ongoing care, and we should also thank those civil servants and volunteers who continually work to better our community. Service in any form is putting one’s own self-interests last, and it often takes hard work and sacrifice. Service is also what builds a community, and binds it together.

In turn, this got me thinking about the some of the recent discourse in Park City: personal attacks, online bullying and attempts to undermine those with different opinions than our own. We are a community with many shared values and plenty of space to air differences. We shouldn’t need to attack those trying to educate our children, police our streets and plan our neighborhoods. They have chosen careers that serve and improve our community — and for that, they deserve our support and thanks.

Fundamentally, I believe our residents understand our good fortune: We raise respectful children, volunteer our time, contribute generously to local non-profits and embrace kindness and tolerance. But we’ve also gotten “a little grumpy.” Our mountain enclave is secluded, but it is not immune to the broader trends of discord — especially on social media. Online, we can forget our manners and patience for civil, constructive conversation. Whether we are throwing virtual or digitals stones, we shouldn’t be throwing any! We choose to live here, and we work to make it a better place, we should also choose to embrace conduct befitting of this community.

There is real frustration among our residents with tourism, traffic, climate, growing inequities, housing shortages and mental health issues — and there is much work to be done to maintain a healthy community. That is why I’m asking you to join us at the Park City Future Summit: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m. at the Jim Santy Auditorium. This is your chance to share your vision for Park City, in a forum where we can express our deep passion for place, while still balancing it with tolerance and compassion for each other. We want and need your input. Park City faces many challenges, but luckily, we have good tools and resources to respond. Now we need your direction. Don’t complain, don’t blame, don’t despair. Show up. You make the difference. Join us in building upon our town’s proud history and envisioning a Park City worthy of the next generation.

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