Guest editorial: Vote John Greenfield for a better way forward
Candidate, Park City Council
Last week, our second Park City baby was born (It’s a girl!!) Two days later, I almost died on the way to knock door-to-door for the very first time when my car’s front left tire detached while driving 50mph on the 248. As I gracefully paced the roadside, waiting for a tow truck and just slightly traumatized, two people stopped. The first good Samaritan was a local gentleman who simply wanted to see if I was okay. The second was a kind woman similarly checking on my well-being, but she also recognized me from the recent library meeting regarding the Gordo mine waste repository. Small town, right? Just like it’s supposed to be…
At the library meeting regarding Gordo, one local legend generated the most attention, but it is critical to note that many other people brought important questions too. The woman who stopped to check on me had questions regarding winds, dust, and health, which the city was not able to answer to our satisfaction. I asked whether the City had considered simply lining and capping the hazardous material already at Gordo, and disposing of any newly created waste to an outside site. The City had never considered that alternative, and as a result, on July 15, the Economic Development Department of PCMC will present this option for the first time to the City Council. I am proud to have accomplished this. Side note: I have also informed the Economic Development team that the complete plans for the Arts/Culture District (A/C) are not able to be viewed by the public online, which I am told they are working on.
Reflecting upon the car accident, my mom laid some motherly wisdom on me. “There are only a few things important in life,” she said, “and you can count them on one hand.” Two of those things are family and friends. If elected to Park City Council, I will view development proposals through the lens of whether the development enhances the lives of our family and friends.
Part of the Gordo issue is whether creating an open-air, mine waste dump operating in perpetuity is the right thing to do for our family and friends. Questions regarding proper testing, soil segregation, an insurance risk-assessment, wind effects on hazardous dust, and a host of others remain unanswered. Another part of this issue is that the Gordo development was launched last spring 2020, in the beginning of a pandemic. At informational meetings spring/summer 2021, city officials essentially fault the public for not paying attention. I strongly disagree with the notion of blaming our citizenry for not understanding our town’s developing development plans during the pandemic. Last June, I was personally concerned with job loss and not scaring or scarring our children. How about you?
If the development Park City has experienced post-Olympics and post-Vail has enhanced the lives of our family and friends, then I would not be hearing about a town grieving a time long gone, wishing Fat Paw was still playing at The Cozy. The struggle for the heart and soul of Park City is real. I think being bold means better imagining how to facilitate generations of Parkites living and dying here, not better emulating Disneyland. Park City needs creative governance on an array of issues. I believe much more owned-affordable housing is part of the answer. I believe the building of a skilled nursing facility for end-of-life care in Park City is part of the answer. There is a better way forward. If you feel the same, please consider voting Greenfield for Park City Council.
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“As we hear about multiple developments that propose growth in terms of thousands of units, it makes you wonder,” writes James Duebber.