Letters, July 31 – Aug. 3: Saying goodbye to Chief Hewitt
Goodbye Chief Hewitt
The Administrative Control Board of the Park City Fire District joins the District and the community in mourning the loss of our Fire Chief, Paul Hewitt, at the age of 58. Chief Hewitt came to the Park City Fire District in 2011 after spending 20 years with the Salt Lake City Fire Department, where he served with great dedication.
During Chief Hewitt’s tenure at the Park City Fire District, he created a strong leadership team and gained the community’s trust and admiration. Chief Hewitt was often present at many community events and participated in the Rotary Club of Park City. He was a leader by example but was always part of the team. There was nothing he asked his firefighters to do that he would not do himself. Under his leadership, the District purchased land and constructed a new fleet services building, implemented validated physical fitness standards, and contributed quarterly articles to Utah Fire and Rescue Academy’s Straight Tip magazine.
Due to his outstanding leadership and succession planning, the Administrative Control Board is confident the Park City Fire District and its community is in good hands under the leadership of Chief Bob Zanetti. Chief Hewitt had a passion for the fire service. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of this great man.
Michael Howard, Chair
Alex Butwinski, Vice Chair
Christina Miller, Treasurer
Jay Dyal, Secretary
Tim Henney, Board Member
Dobkin is intelligent and caring
I have resided in the Park City area since late 2001. I have never endorsed a Park City candidate for office, until now. Most Parkites don’t know the names of the people holding public office in our own city and yet crucial decisions, that affect our daily lives and futures, are being implemented all the time on our behalf.
Responsible leadership is very important for any entity in life. Political leadership, trust and accountability are paramount in any public office holder. That’s why I’m endorsing David Dobkin for mayor of Park City.
I met David through a dear friend and neighbor. My friend has known David for several years. I learned that David has been traveling to Park City since he was a young boy and now lives here with his family. His son currently skis for the Wasatch Freestyle team and has been a member of Park City Ski Team.
After discussing the city and both past and current issues, I found him to be extremely intelligent, kind, caring and knowledgeable about Park City. David has years of experience dealing with fiscal issues due to his years in business. David is very aware of Park City’s history. He talked about both its wonders and its concerns/problems. I believe he has many great insights and solutions about our beautiful town that will enhance and improve our and our families’ future and city’s progress.
Without articulating all of Mr. Dobkin’s agenda, I’m very impressed with his idea to eliminate the property tax for all ‘permanent’ residents. He explained that the total tax revenue from permanent residents is 2%, plus or minus, of our total budget of approximately $165 million. This idea alone will do a great deal of good for all our permanent neighbors and full-time workforce.
I hope the voting folks of Park City will do their own research and find we need to elect an individual for mayor who really cares about Park City and is willing to do the hard work to make our wonderful town an even better place.
Property tax exemption is ill-advised
As a tax policy attorney and resident of Park City, I have several concerns about candidate Dobkin’s proposal to eliminate the property tax for residents. First, this proposal, if adopted, would encourage more people to become resident in Park City, putting more strain on our limited water, infrastructure and educational resources. Second, replacing the property tax revenue lost with a bump in the sales tax or charging for bus services would shift the tax burden from mostly wealthy homeowners to middle and lower income households. Finally, zeroing out the property tax for residents would likely lead to more second (and third and fourth) households to claim resident status. Park City lacks the capacity to curtail this fraudulent behavior.
Park City election is a conundrum
I’m baffled about who gets my vote in the contentious Park City elections – for which I blame Diane Foster and the beavers. Transparency is the overarching issue in voters’ decision to retain or dismiss incumbents However, voters seem not to remember the Big Opaque – the city council’s abrupt dismissal of veteran, respected city manager Diane Foster – which preceded all the Lesser Opaques that have come tumbling out.
Mere weeks passed after Foster’s departure when Prospector residents uncovered a city plan to whack beavers who were getting in the way of a water project. Public outcry saved the beavers, but the trend was in motion. City transparency was headed downstream in a series of decisions, non-decisions, actions, non-actions, plans and non-plans – this list is well known – in which public input was hidden, fragmented, buried, unsolicited and/or dismissed. People of immense city service, people whom you thought would never utter a troubling word about Marsac doings, are now highly critical.
No public details have emerged about the Foster ouster, but as locals were recovering from the shock, her deputy was elevated to city manager and not one, but two, deputies were hired to assist. Thus began a well-documented series of missteps, miscommunications, blunders, apologies, defensiveness and general opaqueness. Most locals put the Foster firing idea at Andy Beerman’s feet, but let’s not forget the entire city council voted to support it. I would love to hear Nann Worel and Tim Henney explain their votes.
So how do I vote? Throw the bums out and risk a bunch of newbies? Vote with experience and hope they’ve learned their lessons? Something in between? Please help me with this.
Too much of a good thing
The Arts & Culture District is a great case study of how a good idea can take on a life of its own until it morphs into a disaster!
As a fellow who has built and purchased a few houses I can tell you my process. First you get some idea of what you might like. They you pencil it out and see how much it is likely to cost. Then you compare it to your budget. Sure, the Taj Mahal would be a great place to rest my weary head, but it is not within my budget. You then start to optimize your plans with a “hard cap” for the budget and somehow priorities come to light.
The problem with the Arts & Culture District is that the “wish list” seemed to expand beyond recognition with no consideration of the budget in mind. Artist studios were soon joined by visiting artist housing, some affordable housing, a transit center, a performing arts venue, restaurants, etc., etc. When you were a kid, how long was your Christmas list?
So far, the only Mayoral candidate who has raised the prospect of setting a budget and working toward trimming the wish list to an affordable amount is Nann Worel. She is fiscally responsible with plenty of experience of keeping organizations within their means.
It is time to stop shaking the couch cushions looking for change to fund the Arts & Culture District. Vote for Nann Worel and bring a common sense Mayor to City Hall.
Democracy is on the line
I live in a country where the vaccines for Covid-19 are available to all for free. Individuals have chosen not to be vaccinated and would rather take the risk of dying. I realize I must wear a mask since I too could be a spreader of Covid-19 even though vaccinated. There is all this rebuttal concerning freedom and individual rights. Meanwhile putting restrictions on voting and gerrymandering is OK! This democracy is on the line once gone and a dictatorship takes over what will my freedoms be. Perhaps none. Take a look around the world what happens to the people living in a dictatorship. Restrictions and certainly access will be limited if at all. A dictator will probably round up the guns. Wake up before it is too late!
Holly A. Carlin
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“This town cannot risk destroying this historic treasure by allowing a development that not only does not fit the environment but egregiously out-scales the entire town,” writes Nancy Lazenby.