Letters: Despite criticism of elitism, City Hall process for affordable housing is equitable
Process is equitable
In recent interviews on both KPCW and in The Park Record, there is a discussion regarding the weighted lottery for affordable housing. There has been concern that the process is “elitist” in favoring essential service workers over bartenders and lift operators in the process. As one of those folks who was lucky to be selected in the last round, I would like to offer my perspective to the community. I live in Central Park Condos which has 11 units. The residents of Central Park include a longtime ski instructor at Deer Valley, server at the Riverhorse, a nurse, two nonprofit coordinators, ski and bike tech, five kids under the age of 18, a firefighter, a legal assistant, folks who work at U.S. Ski and Snowboard, local architecture firms and the MARC, musicians, five dogs and the list goes on. Three of our residents are Latinx. Two are single mothers. This is our little Central Park community and exactly who our affordable housing initiative is targeting. These are my neighbors and the weighting system did not exclude any of us. I challenge the notion that this is an “unfair, elitist” process. Everyone who is income qualified, and works within the Park City School District boundaries for a length of time is eligible to apply — lifties and bartenders, teachers and nurses alike. The biggest obstacle to clear in the housing lottery is qualifying for a loan. I support the weighted system for the lottery as I think it honors the community contribution for those of us who choose to work in service to the greater good through our nonprofit, essential service professions, which currently and historically have come at a cost to our lifetime earning potential. No one goes into teaching, firefighting, nursing and nonprofit work to get rich. Thank you to Park City for making this a possibility for those of us who aren’t millionaires.
Mary Christa Smith
A better solution
Having lived in Park City now for about 12 years, I am amazed at how fast it has grown and how much vehicle traffic has increased. It has to be especially disheartening for those who’ve lived here far longer. With the new discussions of expansion of S.R. 248, I, like many others in our community, am fearful of the proposals. I think I have a solution that would greatly encourage drivers to park in two remote locations and use public transit. Summer heat is a factor in cars parked outside and scraping ice off windows in winter is also something to be avoided. No one wants to leave a car exposed to the weather for extended periods of time in either season and the solution could be two parking garages, one in Kimball Junction and the other in Quinn’s Junction, with frequent transit that would accommodate riders with skis, boards or bikes. Also needed are circulator vans like the “wave me down” one in Kimball Junction, but they would have to be more like the vans used by hotels, which are easier to get in and out of and have external racks for equipment. It would require massive investment and perhaps the use of eminent domain to capture the required land but would offer long-term solutions to the number of cars driving into the city and eliminate the need to add lanes on S.R. 248. There are a lot of creative and committed people in Park City and I’m betting a better solution than an expansion of 248 will arise, hopefully before UDOT forces it upon us.
After reading about Deer Valley’s approval of allowing electric bikes on the mountain trails, I was saddened. It really has to be about ticket sales and money. It’s good way to flood the trails with more people, more crashes … and it takes away from the rawness and just being free from things electric. I guess you could liken it to the movie “WALL-E” where the people became inactive, lazy, unmotivated and rode around on electric chairs. You could call yourself “Deer VALL-E.”
Votes for sale
Several months ago I announced my candidacy for president on these very pages, wanting to get my name on the list before all the seats on the bus were taken. Well, last night I watched the B Team “debate” on TV, and have decided to revise my campaign strategy. Consequently, I’m now willing to buy your vote, and am offering the following policies to secure your support: total forgiveness of all college loan debt (who knew that your first job would not be at $500K/year?), total forgiveness of all mortgage debt and car loan debt (it’s a burden on your future wellbeing), free health care on the Cuban/Venezuelan model, free child care and college education (because children are our future), a guaranteed minimum income of $75K/year regardless of whether you are working or not, reparations if you or any of your ancestors have ever been discriminated against by anyone for any reason (race, gender, age, ethnic background, religion, height, weight, criminal record, stupid behavior, whatever). Please let me know if there’s any other free stuff that you’d like (cell phone, computer, sports car, international travel to promote “one world,” etc.).
Your vote is too important to go to the lowest bidder!
Defense of democracy needed
The U.S. Supreme Court just said that it won’t step up to stop partisan gerrymandering. That means we the citizens must.
Every 10 years, after the census, the Utah Legislature decides what the congressional and legislative districts should look like. There are population considerations, of course, but there is also a level of partisanship in this process. Legislators draw the lines to choose their own voters and make their own seats safer and less competitive. Who wants to vote in an election when the outcome has already been decided?
In order for us to have a functioning democracy, districts must represent communities and representatives should be chosen from those communities in meaningful elections. Voters are more engaged when there are competitive races; when an election is not just another “passing of the baton” but a real discussion of issues and ideas.
We as voters spoke up on this issue last year when we passed Proposition 4 to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw these lines in a more fair, less partisan manner. The Utah Legislature has shown that it isn’t shy about reversing what voters approved at the ballot box — we need to make sure that doesn’t happen with the redistricting process.
We need representatives who speak for us, and who will defend democracy.
Utah Senate District 19 candidate
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A reader says the solution to Park City’s traffic woes is in the grasp of employers like Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company.