Letters: Passing Proposition 4 would make for a stronger Utah government | ParkRecord.com

Letters: Passing Proposition 4 would make for a stronger Utah government

A Republican for reform
Editor:

I believe government and communities are best served when we elect candidates who stand for conservative principles and policies. As a lifelong Republican, the two problems I see with the current landscape of legislative and congressional races in Utah are apathy and disengagement among voters.

In the last election cycle, Utah ranked 39th among states in voter turnout. In 2016 there were hardly any competitive races for the state legislature with 70 percent of the seats won by a margin of 30 points or more and nearly one-fifth of the races going uncontested.

For Republicans this sounds great, right? Well, not exactly. Without direct accountability to the voters and with diminishing engagement, we are collectively worse off. This happens because of gerrymandering, or the process when legislative boundaries are carved and designed by the very people who stand to benefit.

One of my political heroes was Ronald Reagan. In his final interview with ABC's David Brinkley before leaving the White House, President Reagan raised the issue of redistricting and gerrymandering. He called for an independent commission to draw legislative districts based on the interests of the people. To this end, I feel strongly President Reagan ultimately believed in accountability and fairness among all elected officials. It's why I'm working hard to improve the system from a Republican perspective.

Proposition 4 on your ballot will achieve two things. First, establish an independent commission, appointed by our governor and leaders of the legislature, to draw electoral maps following the next census. In addition, Proposition 4 will require those maps to adhere to a set of standards and common sense rules. Essentially, Prop 4 is aimed to allow voters to choose their politicians and not the other way around.

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Despite rhetoric to the contrary, Proposition 4 would adhere to our state Constitution and keep a significant voice within the legislature with the main caveat being, if they reject the independent maps, they would have to publicly explain why. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and this level of transparency would make for better and stronger government.

Jeff Wright
Better Boundaries Co-chairman

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Vote for an educator
Editor:

Kara Hendrickson, who is running for Park City School District's School Board, Precinct 4, has my full support.

Kara taught my sons well at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. As I volunteered in her classroom and got to know her teaching style and work ethic (both, non-stop impressive), she became a family friend. Aside from that, she has been a distinguished teacher and education advocate for 30 years. She raised her children in Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch and put them through our PCSD while she taught. In addition to teaching, Kara periodically served on School Board and community committees as needed to help achieve educational goals. She was also an instructional coach and mentor for other teachers. One thing I recently learned about Kara is that she was an Olympic Liaison, to boot.

We would all benefit from Kara's experience, as we currently have no one on the Board who is an educator. All are highly competent, talented, and dedicated members. Kara would complement their skill sets with her deep understanding of our district's accomplishments and pitfalls. She can help navigate our district's bright future better than most. She has walked in the shoes of parents, community members, teachers, mentors and coaches because she has lived in these roles.

Helping students succeed through education is at the top of Kara's list of priorities. Kara promoted the whole child before the buzz words "whole child" became a thing. Her expertise is in early childhood and gifted and talented education with many years of curriculum implementation under her belt.

I hope voters will consider bringing one of our own teachers, Kara Hendrickson, to the School Board table. Thank you.

Meg Leaf
Park City

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A passionate candidate
Editor:

I first met Vicky Fitlow while we were both serving on a Park City School District committee and have gotten to know her more in the years since. She is passionate about doing what's best for our kids. She has already had extensive experience in the workings and governance of a school board through her time as Chair of the Weilenmann school board. Her background in law also gives her the skills it takes to join our school board and be effective right from the start. She is clearly committed to our students' best interests, and is committed to good governance, fiscal responsibility and evidence based decision making. She is thoughtful and intelligent and would make an excellent school board member. I hope you will join me in voting for Vicky Fitlow for School Board this November.

Maura Hanrahan
Park City

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Honesty matters
Editor:

I'm running for Utah State Senate District 26. Recently, my opponent and I spoke at two Town Hall meetings, one in Midway and one in Heber. At both events, there were many questions asked and answered and all candidates had an opportunity to state their positions. Both events were informative, respectful and courteous. At the end of the second Town Hall though, we had an interesting moment where there was no time for rebuttal. A rebuttal was necessary because my opponent was clearly trying to deceive voters.

My opponent was asked about his economic ties and whether he would use his office to promote his own companies and those of his family. He answered that he no longer participated in any of his business interests in the Uintah Basin and after a lifetime of hauling livestock, oil, and other cargoes was no longer involved in trucking in any way.

However, a quick search of the State of Utah business entity registration website reveals that he is in fact an officer in several corporations and LLC's. Among them are Winterton Trucking — a family owned business of which he is listed as a member — and Basin Wholesale West Inc. — a family owned corporation that distributes food and produce across Utah and Colorado — of which he is listed as the Treasurer and Director. There are also Thomas Enterprises LLC, Winterton Transportation LLC and LP Grace LLC which all list him a Registered Principal.

I appreciate and encourage the civility and respect that all of the candidates running for office from Summit County to the Colorado border have shown. When we as candidates treat each other with respect and dignity, you as voters benefit by having thoughtful, intelligent information upon which to base your most important decisions. But however respectful and civil we are with one another, we need to be above all else, honest. I'm Eileen Gallagher running for Utah State Senate and honesty, above all else, matters to me.

Eileen Gallagher
Senate District 26 Democratic candidate

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Closer to a cure
Editor:

In Thomas Friedman's new book, "Thank you for Being Late," he argues that Americans need to pause and discover their sense of community. Well … Park City paused and pulled together as a community to support the 3rd Park City/Wasatch Back "Walk to End Alzheimer's" on Sept. 8. In Park City, where there are over 125 local non-profits to support, we are especially grateful for our amazing community and their continued support of the Alzheimer's Walk. With 82 teams and 459 walkers, we were able to raise $112,000 and donations are still trickling in. Our Park City/Wasatch Back Alzheimer's Walk raised more money than any other Alzheimer's Walk in the state of Utah. Way to go Park City!

Our Community is incredible! Their support the day of the walk and in planning the event was beyond stellar! A special thanks to our wonderful committee, Basin Rec, all of the local churches, organizations and team leaders who formed teams to walk, to the incredible volunteers on the day of the event, and an extra special shout out to the Park City Boys Lacrosse Team who helped set up and clean up!

Many, many thanks to our incredibly supportive sponsors and a special thanks to KPCW and the Park Record for their coverage of the event.

With some promising research underway, everyday we are a little closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer's.

Thank you Park City and the Wasatch Back for making a difference!

Debbie Morton and Ray Freer
Co-chairs of the Park City/Wasatch Back 2018 Alzheimer's Walk

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Kara cares
Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Kara Hendrickson who is running for the Park City School District Board of Education in District 4.

I have been fortunate enough to be in Park City as an elementary educator now for 28 years. I have seen first-hand how our district has grown and changed over the years from only three schools, one stoplight and one grocery store to the growing community it is now. I have worked with various principals, superintendents and PCSD School Boards and I know Kara has what it takes to be on the School Board.

I worked with Kara starting in 1999 at Jeremy Ranch Elementary until she retired. I have known her as a peer, amazing educator and friend. She is dedicated and served on various committees while she was at JRES. She was also our Park City Education Association Representative for years and has always been an advocate for what's best for students, families and employees of the school district.

Her children also attended Park City School District so she knows the district as both an employee and a parent. Her experience can help her be an advocate for everyone, including district employees since she spent many years in the "trenches" and knows clearly the ins and outs of how our school district operates. We need someone like Kara who has experience working in education to join our School Board. Since her own children are grown, the fact that she is running speaks volumes for her reasons to be on the School Board—for everyone else's students and families.

You can find more information about Kara on her Facebook page, Kara Hendrickson for Park City School Board. She is honest, hard-working and is the right candidate for this position.

Kara CARES!

Kathy Anderson
Park City

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Preserve our town
Editor:

As members of the Main Street business community, we urge you to VOTE YES For the open space bond. Saving this land is crucial to preserve the character of our authentic, small mountain town. It's not just about hurting Old Town or Main Street, everyone within the city limits of Park City would be heavily impacted by this project. The increased noise and traffic, pollution and environmental damage would be with us ALL for many, many years.

We are members of the business community, but more importantly we are members of the Park City community.

We would ALL be big losers if this development is built. This project would require extensive blasting, excavating and hauling, which would greatly affect NOT ONLY the Main Street experience for tourists and locals alike, but would degrade the quality of life within Park City.

If you have ever experienced the 4th of July traditional dynamite reveille of the past, you know dynamite blasts can shake homes from Old Town and Thaynes to Prospector and Park Meadows.

The up to 300 dump truck loads and innumerable concrete truck trips per day, would be intrusive, noisy and filthy. This would severely exacerbate the traffic issues we currently experience.

Tourism dollars make all our amazing resort amenities possible. Visitors often mention Old Town as an important factor in choosing Park City. The prospect of years of construction would surely frustrate tourists causing them to avoid vacationing here and take their tourist dollars with them elsewhere.

The opportunity to stop this development seemed an impossible dream until early this year. We are thankful current and past city leaders found a way to give the voters of Park City the chance to save this special environment for future generations for an annual average $194 per household. Businesses (as well as second home owners who cannot vote) are paying, and will continue to pay, twice the amount of property taxes as full time homeowners for bond payments. Let's not throw away our chance!

Margaret Eggertz, Ryan Smith, Kathy Crossen, Laura Montecot, Stephanie Humes, Jen Schumacher, Robert and Linda Dugins, Ashley Sorensen, Dean and Jamie Peters, Chris Munroe and Debbie and Ed Axtell

Main Street business owners

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Dig into the numbers
Editor:

I thought I would do some digging to determine what we're paying now for open space/walkability bonds and what the cost would be with the addition of the Treasure Hill Bond. You should know that I drew my figures from the Park City Municipal's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Vol. 1 page 79 (link: http://www.parkcity.org/home/showdocument?id=56083). The figures given are for an average Park City home with a "Market Value" (as noted on your County tax statement) of $800,000 and a "Taxable Value" (same statement) of $422,000. Your County Tax statement will give you your Values and you can see how your taxable value relates to the average $422,000 taxable value used here.

This year we are paying on seven bonds dating as far back as 2003. The total bond tax payment this year for the average home will be $327. Next year we stop paying on the oldest bond so the total bond tax payment goes down to $307. If the Treasure Bond goes through, next year's bill would be $194 more for a total of $501. In 2020, we stop paying on another bond so (staying with the added cost of the Treasure Bond) our average cost would go down by $37 for a total bond tax payment of $464. The next break is in the tax year of 2025 when the total bond tax bill has gone down by $103 for a total bond tax of $361. There are two more bonds that expire in 2026 and 2029 for a total reduction of $58 for a total bond tax in 2029 of $303. In 2032 we stop paying the Bonanza Flats bond and we are left paying the Treasure Bond of $194.

The wild card here is the potential school bond which would add to these figures.

I hope this helps you make the right decision for you.

Jim Bowers
Park City

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Worth protecting
Editor:

I'm writing to request your support for the open space bond offering. I was first attracted to Park City after the 2002 Olympics, and after reviewing ski property in numerous other locations, the charm, location, and people of Park City easily won me over and I purchased a home in Old Town in 2003. While my residence is currently a second home, I spend considerable time in Park City, and look forward to retirement when I can spend year round there. I was shocked when I saw the plans and location for the approximately one million square feet of development for Treasure Hill. Such magnitude and commercialization overlooking downtown is obviously way out of scope for Park City and would permanently and negatively alter the aesthetics of our quaint City for the benefit of a few developers. I've felt confident the lasting negative impact to larger Park City would also alarm the stewards of the City, and they would do the right thing. Park City is a special place, so growth and development are inevitable, some if it beneficial, but needs to be done in a thoughtful way. I suspect this communication sounds like a thousand other letters you have received, but Park City is worth protecting, and I would be remiss if I didn't speak up and stand with the other residents. Thanks for your support.

Gregory Parker
Houston and Park City