Guest opinion: Park City mayor shouldn’t throw stones in Hideout dispute
I have never written a letter to any editor or guest editorial, but after hearing the Park City mayor on KPCW and then reading his guest editorial in The Park Record, I felt moved to respond.
During the past 20 or so years we have owned property in lower Deer Valley, Old Town, Sun Peak, Midway, Black Rock and now Hideout. Also in a previous life I served two terms as vice chair of the housing authority in a mid-sized capitol city where I advised four mayors. None of the above qualifies me as an expert on anything, but it does give at least a little experience and maybe a somewhat educated perspective. I have never met the Park City mayor but my political experience leads me to believe that insulting folks on a regular basis might not be the best approach if one is looking for meaningful dialogue and change. Although being a “bully” seems to be all the rage in the current political environment, I don’t find it particularly effective in our community.
We moved to Hideout because we like the view and love our neighbors and neighborhood. I don’t know the Hideout mayor or any of the city officials, but I assume that even though I don’t fully understand their approach to the annexation issue, they are trying to do the right thing. So without attempting to project an understanding of all of the issues involved, I have a fairly simple opinion. Although the Hideout situation seems to give the Park City mayor something to attack, this small municipality’s growth concerns should be the least of his problems. Whether this annexation happens or not, the fact is that there are going to be a whole bunch of people who are going to live around the Jordanelle Reservoir who have nothing whatsoever to do with Hideout.
The bottom line, at least for me, is that if no infrastructure is built around the Jordanelle, in a very short time, S.R. 248 will become completely impassable and when the Park City mayor speaks of regional planning, it sounds to me like what he is really saying is that he will decide what is appropriate for folks who reside outside of his domain. I think all of us, and especially those who have lived in this area for many years, would have liked to have seen a much slower population growth. That train, however, left the station some time ago, and the “last settler syndrome” contributes little to solving complicated problems. All conflicts eventually get resolved regardless of whether the participants have equal positions of power and influence, which in this situation is obviously not the case. I truly believe that we all want the same quality of life and that we can all work together to solve our common and individual problems. Much of the architecture of our mountain communities contains a lot of glass. Maybe the mayor, and all of us, should be a bit more careful about throwing stones.
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F. Joseph Feely III writes in a guest editorial that he is concerned about the “likely impact of the extreme policy positions” Democrats will pursue if they win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.