Guest editorial: Park City needs Andy Beerman’s bold leadership on climate
Three years ago, I made the move from my beloved home in Salt Lake City up to Park City at the urging of my dad, a physician, who encouraged me to get out of the polluted air. My partner and I are thinking about someday starting a family and we wanted to give our future baby (and ourselves) the gift of clean air. I moved to Park City to be in a healthier environment with clean air and access to nature. These things are vital to our physical and mental well-being. That’s why I want to see Mayor Andy Beerman re-elected, to protect Park City’s air quality, climate, snow and environment so future generations can enjoy the same quality of life we do.
Andy Beerman has always been a champion for our climate and open lands. When he was on Park City Council, he helped lead the vote to go 100% renewable by the year 2030. His leadership has set the stage for many communities to follow, including Salt Lake City, Moab, Jackson, Breckenridge and many others. It’s changing our grid in the state of Utah and nationally.
We need bold, brave leadership on climate now more than ever.
As Mayor, he’s helped protect more open space and added over 100 miles of trails. In the Bonanza Flats area, his vision (along with other City Council, City staff and partners) has enhanced the area. There are bathrooms, parking lots, new trails and restoration areas. On the public transportation front, I get so excited whenever I see the new electric buses.
Instead of choking on idling bus fumes, it’s another way to keep our air clean and take action on climate. And last summer, I enjoyed seeing the equity murals and roundtables. Social and environmental justice go hand in hand. We need to continue making Park City a welcoming place to people of color.
I first met Andy Beerman at the climbing gym as my partner, Rob Lea, and I were training as a mountaineering team. As his wife, Thea was sending an incredibly challenging overhanging route, we said hi as he patiently belayed. Rob and I watched in awe at their teamwork. Andy was friendly and outgoing, and I always felt like he created a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.
The COVID pandemic has made many people realize what an attractive place Park City is to live. With the recent growth comes challenges. That is why we need a leader with compassion, empathy, strong values and vision. Someone who climbs big mountains, skis and gets outside and can take those same skills and apply them to public policy.
With the climate crisis, I contemplate what kind of Utah we will leave for the next generation. Projections indicate that the climate crisis could cause Park City to lose all of it’s snowfall by 2090. We need to make decisions for the next 100 years, not just the next 10. Do we want access to leave our future children access to nature, clean air, water, adequate snowfall, and a livable planet? Our elected officials can have a big impact on our legacy. We need Mayor Andy and his climate leadership to leave a legacy we are proud of.
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“This town cannot risk destroying this historic treasure by allowing a development that not only does not fit the environment but egregiously out-scales the entire town,” writes Nancy Lazenby.