Letters: Readers explore the choices on the ballot | ParkRecord.com

Letters: Readers explore the choices on the ballot


Demonstrate a commitment to open space

Park City’s Autumn has provided stunning vistas across preserved meadows and hillsides. These exist because of tax dollars from open space bonds combined with foresight and visionary planning. Do you know that open space bond money from both Park City and the Snyderville Basin preserved the land to the west of Kimball Junction from potentially 600 homes? Round Valley, approximately 2,000 acres, has also been preserved with open space funds from both Park City and Snyderville Basin. Park City residents have the extraordinary opportunity to vote to bond for the preservation of the Treasure Hill property in Old Town and the Snow Ranch in Thaynes Canyon. I encourage all city residents to consider a YES vote. As a resident of the Snyderville Basin I cannot vote for the Treasure Hill bond but I have contributed to Bonanza Flats and Snow Ranch. To my fellow residents of the Snyderville Basin, we now have an opportunity to demonstrate OUR commitment to open spaces and land preservation by donating $158 per family or individual in the continued efforts to raise the last funds to “Save the Farm” via the Summit Land Conservancy. Let’s show our friends and neighbors in Park City that we are also willing to contribute to preserve our shared lifestyle.

Kathy Mears
Snyderville Basin


Voice of the people

I suppose we need medical marijuana to alleviate the people’s significant and chronic pain from the machinations of the governor, the legislature and the predominate church here in Utah who seek to thwart the will of the people for the common good. Here’s to vox populi. Please vote.

Jeffrey Louden
Park City


An exceptional state

If the 2018 ballot text of Proposition 2 regarding medical cannabis is correct, Utah could become the only government in the world that managed to lose money by making pot legal. We are an exceptional state, of course, so nothing our legislature sets out to accomplish should surprise us.

Nick Wright
Park City


‘No’ doesn’t equal slow

The Open Space Bond is on the ballot. You should have received those ballots by now. This is a binary choice: FOR or AGAINST.

FOR: Saves Treasure Hill and the Armstrong/Snow Ranch Pastures from development forever. It retires the density from Treasure Hill’s 123 acres & Armstrong’s 19 acres. This land will be preserved forever within a conservation easement held by a third-party land conservancy.

AGAINST: Greatly accelerates the approval process for Treasure Hill. Contrary to the Vote NO opposition misinformation, a NO vote will not stop, slow, or create any new negotiations whatsoever.

You may not believe me. You don’t have to. Just read what is written in the signed purchase contract.



3. Options if Purchase of Bonds Is Not Approved or The Treasure Hill Parcels Are Not Acquired by City.

(a) … if the Bond is not timely approved by the City’s electorate, or if the Treasure Hill Parcels are not acquired by the City as provided in the Purchase Agreement, then the processing of the currently pending CUP Application, which was place on hold by the Planning Commission, effective as of December 8, 2017, shall, without further action being required, automatically recommence…

In the event that this provision is triggered, the intent of the parties is to expedite a prompt resumption by the Planning Commission of the consideration and a decision based on the existing record before the Planning Commission…

(d) Unless otherwise agreed by all parties, the Planning Commission shall consider the CUP application in no more than three public hearings… No updated application submittal may be required by the City.

This is what actually happens if you vote NO! VOTE YES! Keep Park City, Park City!

John Stafsholt
Old Town


Lack of integrity

I am sitting at my computer reading that Warren Buffet says the most important quality when hiring is integrity. Then how did Donald Trump get elected? Integrity is telling the truth. Donald Trump calls the press the fake news. 1st amendment is Freedom of the Press. Donald Trump calling the press “Fake News” is what dictators do to confuse the truth and the public. This is a way to breakdown the norms and bring in a dictatorship. Dictators use Oppression to gain power. Currently American citizens are being denied the “RIGHT TO VOTE” by any means possible this too is oppression. Get out and VOTE!

Holly A. Carlin
Park City


Be part of special day

Park City has over 100 nonprofits enriching our community through support of everything from recycling to skiing. These nonprofits help keep Park City the special place we are all proud to call home.

On Nov. 9, Park City Community Foundation, Recycle Utah and all other nonprofit organizations are inviting you to join us in supporting the community, organizations, services, events, people and places that you love. For 24 hours we are asking everyone to visit livepcgivepc.org/organization/recycleutah and support sustainability in Summit County along with your other favorite nonprofits.

I plan to support the community that I want to live in — one that cares about reducing the waste we send to the landfill, teaching future generations to become responsible environmental stewards and protects the places we play. Through matching challenge grants and prizes, my support might be matched or doubled thanks to generous sponsors. I urge every community member to join the fun and support Recycle Utah and all of your other favorite organizations on this special day. Visit livepcgivepc.org to learn more.

Carolyn Wawra
Recycle Utah executive director


Implausible scenario

The open space bond opposition has recently advocated for using eminent domain as a solution to stopping Treasure Hill development. My experiences with eminent domain have been that it is time consuming, costly, risky, and very favorable to the property owners relative to determination of fair market value.

The state of Utah is very strong on property rights and has ample protection for the landowners built into the eminent domain code. The open space bond opposition presents the eminent domain as a very simple process, but what has not been explained is that if Park City were to invoke eminent domain, they will have to deposit the full value of the property with the Court AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CASE (not when a final decision is made). This is clearly spelled out in Utah Code 78B-6-510. So I would like to know how it is viewed possible for Park City to immediately raise the full amount of the funds needed to get the eminent domain process started. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs for appraisal fees, legal fees, expert witness and other costs will be needed to get to an agreement on a fair market value. Ultimately, it may lead to a court or jury determination which is very risky as it tends to heavily favor the party subject to condemnation. Also, if a fair market value is determined to be higher than what was initially deposited, Park City would be required to immediately pay this additional cost plus 8 percent interest on the difference amount. I don’t see this as a plausible scenario at this time.

The Park Record’s editorial on Oct. 20 stated: “Cast a ‘yes’ vote on Treasure bond and end dispute at last.” I could not agree more. Vote FOR the open space bond.

Arnie Rusten
Old Town


Home at last

Summit County is not immune to child abuse or its devastating effects: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Only 2 percent of the perpetrators are a stranger to the victim.

The Summit County Children’s Justice Center (SCCJC) has an excellent team of professionals including police detectives, case workers, prosecutors, victim advocates, trauma-trained therapists and medical staff that investigate and support victims of child abuse and their families. While the SCCJC provides a great service to Summit County, their office space is temporary and is located in a county building that lacks privacy. The SCCJC is the only one of Utah’s 23 CJCs that doesn’t have its own home.

The Friends of the Summit County Children’s Justice Center (aka the Community for Children’s Justice), a nonprofit organization, was established to provide a permanent home for the SCCJC — a place for abused children and their families to seek justice and to begin the healing process. Earlier this month, the organization took a significant step forward by raising funds for a down payment and securing a conditional use permit to convert an existing single-family home.

You are invited to tour the future home of the Summit County Children’s Justice Center, meet the team of professionals who serve victims of child abuse, and learn more about our efforts to convert the building so the SCCJC can move in as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 4-6 p.m. at 5870 Silver Summit Parkway.

Kimberley Labertew
Community for Children’s Justice board member


The wise choice

Experience matters. I’m voting for Glenn Wright for County Council. Glenn first reached out to me in about 2007 to find out how he could make a difference in Park City and Summit County. In the last 11 years, he has been very actively engaged in this community to advocate for affordable housing, open space, trails, responsible government and caring for our underserved populations.

A write in candidate filed a late intention to run for County Council. Don’t be fooled. While it’s admirable to throw your hat in the ring, it’s important to first do the hard work of becoming a qualified, knowledgeable candidate. You do that by volunteering to serve on local non-profit and governmental boards. You can’t simply become qualified to serve as an elected official unless you do the hard work in the trenches of learning the difficulties of wise, informed governance. Glenn has done that hard work. He is intimately familiar with Park City Municipal, Summit County and Utah issues. He knows the hard work it takes to govern effectively and he cares deeply about the issues that are important to you and to me. He’s the wise choice.

Sally Elliott
Park City


Worth the ink

Josh Mann is running for Summit County Council Seat E as a write-in candidate. Josh has told you what he stands for: Slow development, better communication, fiscal conservation, and a new transportation culture.

These are reason enough to vote for Josh! Here are more reasons to write his name on the ballot: 1.) Basin neighborhoods (Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook, Summit Park, Trailside, etc.) are not represented on the Council. Three of the five Council members live inside Park City limits (Prospector, Thaynes, Park Meadows) and the other two live on the East Side and Silver Creek. Josh lives, works, and raises his kids in Jeremy. He knows what neighbors in these areas are going through. 2.) Through his blog and his newsletter, The Bull Moose, Josh has provided many of us with not only timely county information but a darn good civics lesson. Motivated by nothing other than making this a better place to live he has immersed himself in the planning commission, school board, and county decisions and procedures. Josh isn’t somebody who wants this position for the prestige — he wants to make a difference! 3.) The status quo isn’t so great anymore. Other than Josh, no other person has stepped up to run against an incumbent in our county. Without Josh there will be no change to the current course. We need his fresh and informed voice on the Council. So I implore you, especially if you live in the Basin, write-in Josh Mann for Summit County Council Seat E. He will be well worth the ink!

Meg Leaf
Park City


Heartless indifference

First District Congressman Rob Bishop’s objection during a recent debate with his two rivals, Democrat Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason of the United Utah Party, to the charge he lavishly rewards his campaigns’ big money donors, adding no one “truly knows” his heart, during the same event implied such knowledge may not be difficult to locate when he declined reasonable support for a lingering, but congressionally stymied measure known as the “Dream Act.”

Granting eventual forms of U.S. citizenship to residents accompanying undocumented alien parents to this country when children, referred to as “Dreamers” would authenticate the sentiment that youngsters, having no choice but to travel with parents, brought illegally into this country and subsequently arriving at adulthood as law-abiding, educationally motivated and patriotically imbued Americans, have earned the right to achieve legal protection against deportation to countries of origin they never knew.

Through years during which such a plan has been seriously considered, recurrently architected, even partially passed in Congress, Utah members of that branch deeply involved themselves in the effort. At one early formative point, former Utah 3rd District Republican Chris Cannon (1997-2009) provided a substitute for the first attempt entitled the “Student Adjustment Act of 2001.” In August the same year, Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch, with Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Dubin, introduced in the Senate a mirrored version.

Rep. Bishop indicated his indifference when, answering a debate question, he said multiple increased border security measures must be fully enacted before he endorses validating a Dream Act. What’s the connection?

Actually, very little. But it emits the odium of a too-familiar legislative tactic — log-rolling. In this instance, the Dreamers and their justified expectation of becoming citizens in the only country they have ever known are to be held hostage — and in unwarrented, threatening limbo — until who knows how much more border control legislation emerges, a particularly cynical, callous trade-off. With what other term could this obstructionism be adjudged? How about — “heartless?”

Harry Fuller
Park City


Problem solver

I’m writing to voice my support for Chris Neville, Democratic candidate for Utah House District 53. I managed the Information Technology team that Chris was on at Canyons Resort. Chris always brought creative solutions to our IT team, cultivating a collaborative environment between all departments and colleagues. He was our go-to guy for the tough problem solving and his commitment to the right solution was unwavering. Everyone we worked with trusted Chris to get the job done. I’m confident his background in technology and reliable character will make him successful in the Utah legislature. He will be a fresh voice for Utah families and I know he’ll work hard to represent District 53. Please join me in voting for Christopher Neville this fall.

Kim Kerr
Jeremy Ranch


Not worth the risk

An individual in favor of saving Treasure Hill, but opposed to the bond has been floating the idea that confiscating the property by using eminent domain laws will be a better solution. THINC members asked Nicole Deforge an attorney with Fabien VanCott for her opinion. Attorney Deforge represented THINC during the Planning Commission hearings. Her comments are as follows.

Eminent domain is simply not a feasible alternative to the bond and, frankly, might not be subject to eminent domain at all. Regardless, Park City residents would end up paying far more for the property over a much shorter period of time. In eminent domain proceeding, the City would be required to:

• deposit the full appraised value of the property with the court up-front, rather than over a 15-year bond period.

• incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for many years of litigation.

• pay 8 percent interest on the award for every year of litigation.

• pay additional substantial damages for any decrease in the value of the contiguous property resulting from the condemnation.

• significantly raise taxes for Park City residents to pay a much larger condemnation award.

• face possible breach of contract and bad faith claims given the 30-year history and the development approvals already granted by the City.

Juries typically award far more to landowners than what a city believes the property to be worth. The risk of a huge condemnation award borne by Park City taxpayers is far too great.

The City has fully explored the option of using eminent domain and rejected that option because it was simply not worth the substantial risk and potentially exorbitant cost.

The choice is clear. Vote for the Open Space Bond.

Niels P. Vernegaard
Old Town

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