Letters: A bold vision for Park City already exists
Vision was defined years ago
I find very interesting the “bold 2020 vision” and “sustainable tourism” statements recently made by our city leaders. We today have an oversold town with unresolved safety issues related to the never-ending increases in high volumes of traffic and events that have plagued our citizenry on a daily basis. I have to ask, what does a bold vision and sustainable tourism mean?
These carefully worded statements do not help but only divert attention and put real solutions off. Our deteriorating town with the small feeling, scale and high quality of life our leaders so enthusiastically extol is already compromised by too much everything. The residents, consultants, surveys and the “experts” for years have been asking our leaders to take bold measures to protect what matters most, but why does it fall on deaf ears? Business as usual is the answer. Unmanaged growth with a continued hands-off and look-the-other-way approach assures no real protections for citizens. Business interests are the only winners and, by the way, never compromise. Only the residents are asked to bend over backwards.
The latest “bold 2020 vision” and “sustainable tourism” that our leaders currently embrace is once again ambiguous and undefined. My grandpa used to call this mumbo jumbo “Big Talk!” An accurate definition of this bold new vision is already described in our General Plan and Land Management Code. These original guiding documents are what I would call the already-written “2020 vision” that our elected officials are now so excited about. They foresaw the challenges coming down the pipe. They today are very relevant by giving us tangible, definable and quantifiable guidelines that our leaders need to respect instead of ignoring, changing or undermining for business interests (re: Hillside Ave). I would highly recommend that the Park City Municipal Corporation and its staff carefully review these progressive documents that already describe their new “vision.” We certainly don’t need another dog and pony show “public process” that includes more consulting contracts, studies and experts that only serve to undermine this vision that we defined many years ago.
Peter J. Marth
Optimism and intellect
I have come to know Canice Harte over the past two decades both professionally and personally. It was first at Silver Star during our transition from roaring economy into the Great Recession. Whether good days or bad he was always at his desk working with his wife with boundless optimism, intellect and a smile. Even when negotiating the sale of his business, he came to us to make sure the rent was paid to the day and to the penny. It was never an issue or priority for us but keeping things straight fair and honoring one’s commitments are core values for Canice.
These values have propelled him to success both personally and professionally in serving our country, serving his business, serving his family and over the last seven years serving our county in the role of planning commissioner.
As a member of the Kimball Junction Neighborhood Master Plan Committee, Canice worked with all local community members to find critical growth solutions to difficult transportation problems. An assembly of county government, UDOT, commercial and residential developers, landowners and Utah Olympic Park officials met over the course of a year to find best practices and create plans to address entitlement for building that had been granted decades before. Once again, he came to work with boundless optimism and intellect and moved us from problem to solution.
Over the next two decades we will see a near doubling of the Utah population. It is estimated that 70% of this growth is internal. This will influence Summit County greatly and our next County Council will be tasked with the planning for these effects. This is a critical County Council race for the future of our lifestyle.
Although he is not a member of my personal political party, it is essential we have candidates like Canice Harte in office to steward future decision making. We enjoy an immense lifestyle in Summit County. I encourage each of you at a minimum to vote for Canice for Summit County Council Seat C and more importantly get to know him. We could all use a little more optimism, intellect and movement from problem to solution these days.
Christopher M. Conabee
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Wasatch Back would like to extend our sincere thanks all who participated in our “Clean Air and Stewardship Virtual Town Hall” on May 6. There were over 100 people asking great questions of our panelists. The discussion was respectful, thoughtful and bipartisan. Specifically we would like to thank Rep. John Curtis and Dr. Arden Pope for participating as panelists, and the Mmyors of Heber (Kelleen Potter), Midway (Celeste Johnson) and Price (Mike Kourianos) for their thoughtful questions.
With Cecilia Foster of CCL BYU and Andrew Sandstrom of the Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends moderating the discussion, the group touched on air quality, nuclear power, alternative energy and the need for rural communities to participate in the economic benefits of a transition to cleaner sources of power. Rep. Curtis powerfully emphasized the need for bipartisanship in addressing climate change and called upon both parties to offer solutions and ideas. Dr. Pope offered a stirring call to action, pointing out that we all enjoy clean air and a pristine environment, and therefore have an obligation to act to protect Utah’s natural resources.
Again, thanks to all of you who supported this town hall. If you would like to join us in future efforts, we would love to have you! Citizen’s Climate Lobby Wasatch Back can be found at: citizensclimatelobby.org/chapters/UT_Wasatch_Back. We meet once a month here in Park City.
A case study
Case No. 1: The mayor of Kaysville grants a permit to hold a live mass concert in the city, in clear defiance of state health orders. Gov. Herbert ducks the issue and declares enforcement a local responsibility.
Case No. 2: The mayor and city council of tiny Bluff, in the heart of the hardest-hit health district in the state, asks to please not be forced to open up because it is too dangerous at the moment. Gov. Herbert, under ideological pressure to open, denies the request.
Case No. 3: The citizens of Summit County and its communities believe they live in a place of enlightened governance, and true enough, they do. They also believe this protects them from the dangerous politicization of their well-being by a capricious Trumpian state. Clearly that is wrong. It is an illusion that could crumble at any moment.
Elect an advocate
As we wrap up May Mental Health Awareness Month, we have an opportunity for year-round representation for mental health expertise on our County Council by electing Malena Stevens. Estimates illustrate that 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This number will likely increase due to economic and social factors resulting from COVID-19. As a long-time mental health advocate in Summit County, Malena has earned my vote. Now more than ever, we need someone with mental health policy expertise as we face uncertain times. Malena served as the Park City Police Department victim advocate coordinator and has immersed herself in mental health issues, including supporting Connect Summit County.
Malena holds a master’s degree in public administration and professional experience in government; she is ready to step in as an advocate for vulnerable populations and mental health issues impacting our county. Sadly, I’ve been hearing some community mumblings that Malena is not qualified and/or ready to serve on County Council, and I find these comments disingenuous and insulting to young, working, professional women. We need a diverse County Council that represents all of us: young parents, business owners, vulnerable populations and women! Malena is versed in much more than mental health issues. She is on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, affordable housing task force, and runs the Park City Police Department budget. Her variety and depth of experience make her the most qualified person for the job. If you look at Malena’s experience (malenastevens.com) you will see why she will be such a huge addition to the County Council, bringing mental health and wellness issues to the forefront. We need this on the council now more than ever. Please join me in voting for Malena Stevens.
Stevens is a wise choice
I encourage you to join me in voting for Malena on June 30 for Summit County Council Seat C. She brings a thoughtful, level-headed approach to decision making that will create an effective balance on the council.
I have had the pleasure of working with Malena as part of Leadership Class 25. She immediately displayed a quiet confidence that was well received by a very diverse group of classmates. Always presenting ideas that balanced practicality and compassion, she was highly respected within our class as a leader who galvanized those around her.
Malena’s experience with the Park City Police Department as both the victim advocate coordinator and the executive assistant to the chief of police show her ability to manage the nuts and bolts of a budget, yet also handle the sensitive nature of assisting victims of violent crime. She has always shown a propensity to help underserved populations, a quality that is so important in our county as we tackle difficult decisions on affordable housing. Having spent two terms on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, multiple master plan committees, and specifically the affordable housing task force, she is singularly positioned to be a champion for those seeking affordable and attainable housing.
Malena has demonstrated her understanding of the need for collaboration in leadership, something we need today more than ever. Please choose wisely on behalf of our county by voting for Malena Stevens for County Council!
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In advance of Live PC Give PC on Friday, letters to the editor urge readers to support a range of Park City nonprofits.