Guest Editorial: Williams says he’s running for the people of Park City
Park City mayoral candidate
I wanted to write a letter directly to the people of Park City, not subject to others thoughts or opinions but directly from me to you. Campaigns are difficult, emotional, and often open to interpretation. I felt the need to clarify some of the reasons I chose to run again.
First and foremost is to set the tone by which you, as citizens, feel proud, important and empowered as members of this community. This is regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. The role of Mayor is not based on who is greener, supports more open space, builds affordable housing or tackles growth issues, but rather who champions the public by reminding them that they are vital in every decision the city makes. The role is to go to bed at night thinking how you can help the people having the toughest time.
Second is that the vision of the city is created by its citizens. While community outreach, coffee with council and public input are great things, they are not a replacement for a vision designed by the people. During the previous administration and my tenure, we did visioning every five or six years. We took the information supplied by you and turned it into a road map of action with defined outcomes. When citizens are not allowed to determine the vision, the government will!
Third is to make sure that the decisions made by the city do not have unintended consequences and do not hurt small business or the working class. Several policies passed by the city in the last few years do just that. I learned early on that, whenever possible, we should partner with local business and encourage their success rather than be their direct competition. Our service industry is what makes us tick and we do not need to make their lives more difficult.
Lastly, I would like to talk about activism versus holding office. It was a dedicated group of us that fought and protected Round Valley, reduced the Empire Canyon project from dozens of pods of development to merely three and protected 1,350 acres of the 1,500-acre project. We helped create new ordinances requiring open space, trails, and affordable housing be part of any new development. While in office I participated in the creation of a sustainability department, increased our open space by 400%, trails by 800%, saw us through the Olympics and the recession. My personal relationships, created over decades, helped us obtain the Armstrong open space and the Knudsen affordable housing parcel. We developed the relationships with the League of Cities and Towns, the state legislature and the federal congressional delegation.
Since my parents first stepped foot here in 1964, to my moving here full time in 1978, getting married here and raising my children here, I have always thought that the unique and special qualities that are Park City are worth fighting for and I have every intention to continue doing so.